Little orphan Annie will kick off Rochester Association of Performing Arts’s 2017-18 Main Stage season on November 18-26 at Kodak Center, 200 W. Ridge Road, Rochester.
“Annie: The Musical” has become a worldwide phenomenon since the 1970s, and won seven Tony awards including best musical.
Annie is determined to find the parents who abandoned her years ago on the doorstep of a New York City orphanage run by the cruel Miss Hannigan. With the help of other girls in the orphanage, Annie escapes and eventually foils Miss Hannigan’s evil machinations. She finds a new home and family in billionaire Oliver Warbucks; his personal secretary, Grace Farrell; and a dog, Sandy.
Since RAPA’s move to the Kodak Center in 2013, CEO and President Jim Vollertsen has assembled a team of professional actors, directors and designers.
Director Judith Ranaletta is an Eastman-trained singer, actress, director and voice and acting teacher who has performed in and directed over 200 productions onstage as well as in radio, TV and film throughout the U.S. and Europe. She serves as vocal music and drama director at Greece Athena High School.
Ranaletta, founder and director of ROC City Singers, previously directed for Rochester Lyric Opera, Rochester Screenplays and Roberts Wesleyan College and Community Theatre. She received Presidential ARTS Scholar Outstanding Teacher awards by presidents George H.W. Bush and Barack Obama.
Lea Mancarella, 12, of Pittsford, stars as Annie. She performed in the 2014-15 national tour of “A Christmas Story: The Musical,” and previously acted in Goodspeed Musical’s “Chasing Rainbows” as Shirley Temple, Geva’s “A Christmas Carol” and “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” as well as many feature films and TV commercials.
Sara Reynolds, of Webster, returns to her childhood after playing the title role of Annie on the national tour in the 1980s, this time in the role of Miss Hannigan. Reynolds, a member of Actor’s Equity Association, previously performed on Broadway in “Sunday in the Park with George” and “Teddy and Alice.”
Craig Deisering, of Geneva, stars as Oliver Warbucks. The Rochester performer has 28 years of experience, previously acting as the title role in “Shrek The Musical,” Tevye in “Fiddler on the Roof” and Max Bialystock in “The Producers.”
Caroline Nielson, of Dallas, portrays Grace Farrell. Nielson completed her master’s degree in voice performance and literature at Eastman School of Music. Her roles included Maurya in “Riders to the Sea,” Dorothee in “Cendrillon,” Abbess in “Suor Angelica” and Nancy in “Albert Herring.” She was a featured artist in the 2017 Basically Beethoven Festival in Dallas.
Peter Raimondo is Rooster. He recently graduated from Niagara University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in theater performance and a minor in business. His credits include “The Pajama Game,” “Stage Door,” “The Drowsy Chaperone,” “9 to 5: The Musical,” “Guys and Dolls” and “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee.”
Additional cast members include Emily Besau, Anne Olivia Cincotta, Marcella Cincotta, Natalie Cincotta, Rory Cushman, Dean Davis, Paul Fasy, Sheralyn Fenton, Micayla Greco, Aaron Grippo, Mike Harrington, Catriona Hoelperl, Emily Lipski, Josiah Lloyd, Gracie Magguilli, Tom Mancarella, Bria Melrose, Elizabeth Michalek, John Ninfo, Chloe Phelps, Andrew Polla, David Runzo, Cecilia Samper, Lucia Samper, Nicolas Samper, Danica Simpson, Rachel Stoner, Andrew Theede, Katie Thomas, Morgan Troia and Ella Van Putte.
RAPA will partner with Children Awaiting Parents Inc. as a fundraiser for National Adoption Month. CAP’s mission is to recruit foster and adoptive families across the U.S. for children who have been waiting the longest for a family. A portion of the ticket proceeds will directly benefit CAP’s efforts. Volunteers will collect additional donations in the lobby after the show, and provide information on how to become involved in the organization.
“Annie: The Musical” will run at 7:30 p.m. on Nov. 18 and 24 as well as 2 p.m. on Nov. 19 and 25-26. Tickets cost $29.50-$49.50, and are available online. Senior, student and child discounts are available.
Subscriptions for the four-show season start at $210. The season includes “Annie,” “Two Tickets to Paradise: The Eddie Money Musical,” “Damn Yankees” and “Oliver.”
Call (585) 254-0073 or visit rapatheatre.org for information.