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Dona Ana Lyric Opera to kick off 13th season with "Annie"

The Dona Ana Lyric Opera (DALO) will kick off its 13th season with the Broadway musical "Annie," Aug. 3-10 at New Mexico State University's Music Center Recital Hall.

is directed by DALO artistic director and New Mexico State music professor Jon Linford. The production will feature a large cast of adults and children and a small instrumental ensemble directed by DALO coach and accompanist Shanelle Jernigan.

"Annie" premiered on Broadway in the 1970s and is based on the comic strip "Little Orphan Annie" by Harold Grey. Set in the Great Depression, "Annie" tells the story of an orphan girl who is adopted by multi-billionaire Oliver Warbucks. At first Annie only wants to find her real parents who left her with half a locket and a note saying they would come to get her someday, but Warbucks' search for her parents turns up characters with fiendish plots. However, Annie and Warbucks find happiness together and save the United States by helping Franklin D. Roosevelt hatch his plans for the New Deal.

"Annie" inspired two film adaptations and includes songs such as "Maybe," "It's the Hard Knock Life," "You're Never Fully Dressed Without a Smile," "I Don't Need Anything But You" and "Tomorrow."

The cast features eight-year-old Keara Bixby as Annie; Dru Ruebush as Warbucks; Gina Ruebush as his assistant Grace Farrell; Anna Lenhardt as orphanage director Miss Hannigan; Isaac Quiroga as Rooster; Elena Armijo as Rooster's girlfriend and Richard Rundell as Franklin D. Roosevelt. The show also includes many other adult actors and 18 girls from Las Cruces, ranging from ages 4-13. The set was designed by Bob Diven, costumes by Jolene Ficklin and lights by Gerald Kottman. Quiroga was also the choreographer and Kathy Hollingworth-Brown the stage manager.

Performances Saturday, Aug. 3, Wednesday, Aug. 7, and Friday, Aug. 9, will be at 8 p.m. Performances Sunday, Aug. 4, Saturday, Aug. 10, and Sunday, Aug. 11, will be at 3 p.m. Tickets for the performances are $8, $12 and $15. For reservations and information call (505) 646-1993.

Sarah Wheeler
July 26, 2002