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MTC Closes Out 10th Year With Off-Broadway Classic

Ever wonder what happened to Annie? Find out during the Moorestown Theater Company's 64th production, premiering tonight at the Upper Elementary School.

There’s something poetic about it: 10 years ago, Moorestown Theater Company (MTC) debuted with a production of the Broadway classic Annie; This year, MTC is closing out its 10th anniversary season with the sequel, Annie Warbucks.

“It’s a nice way to bookend the decade,” said producing artistic director Mark Morgan.

Contrary to the highly popular original—and despite the fact that the sequel was written by the same people who wrote Annie—Annie Warbucks never made it to Broadway, though it was a successful off-Broadway show, Morgan noted. “It was breaking records at theaters it was at.”

Because of its relatively obscure status to much of the theatergoing public, Morgan is referring to the show, which opens at 7 p.m. tonight at the Upper Elementary School, as a "Burlington County theater premiere."

Melissa Tucker, 15, who plays Grace Farrell, one of the play’s female leads, said she couldn’t understand why the show was considered so under the radar.

“It’s good music,” she said. “There’s good wit in this show.”

“I’ve never seen this done ever,” said Jack Morgan, who plays Daddy Warbucks in the show.

After some gentle encouragement from Morgan, his father, Jack shaved his head for the role.

“I figured, why not?” said Jack, who also explained that his grandmother lost her hair during a battle with cancer last year, which made the decision a little easier. “It definitely adds something different to (the show) … I don’t hate it.”

Morgan said that, much like they had to do with 42nd Street, the crew of Annie Warbucks had to play a little catch-up after losing several days to Hurricane Sandy.

“It’s not going to affect the quality of what the ticket buyer sees onstage,” he said, just the behind-the-scenes preparations.

Ironically, one of the characters in the show is Annie’s dog, Sandy. The role of Sandy is being played by Daisy, a golden retriever that belongs to the family of one of the show’s younger cast members.

In order to train the dog to behave onstage, Morgan said the crew paired the pooch exclusively with the actresses playing Annie (there are two casts—“Black” and “Gold”).

“We’ve worked it out where the Annies are sitting with the dog when they’re not onstage,” he said, adding that the girls have also been walking around with treats in their pockets if they need to get the dog to respond a certain way.

The show opens at 7 p.m. tonight at the Upper Elementary School, with additional performances at 2 and 7 p.m. Saturday; 2 p.m. Sunday; 7 p.m. Friday. Dec. 7; 2 and 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 8; and 2 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 9.

“It’s their show,” Morgan said as he watched the children rehearse. “There’s plenty of movies to go to, but there’s nothing like live theater … by kids, for kids.”

Tickets are $10 and can be purchased through the MTC website, as well as at the door.

Mark Morgan November 30, 2012 at 06:39 PM
Hi Moorestonians, We've got another great show for you starting tonight with four performances this weekend and four more next weekend. Why don't you have dinner in one of Moorestown's great restaurants, and then come get in the holiday spirit? This musical sequel to "Annie" starts out on Christmas Day 1933, with the Orphans singing "We'll Have A New Deal For Christmas!", and follows all of the popular characters from the original production. This show is great for audience members of all ages, especially children, since the cast is made up entirely of children between the ages of six to 16 (and one dog!), and there's nothing like a live musical theater performance. Help us to close out our 10th Anniversary Season with full houses! Thanks, and Happy Holidays! Mark Morgan Director, "Annie Warbucks" Producing Artistic Director, Moorestown Theater Company President, Moorestown Business Association
Alison Ricci November 30, 2012 at 06:41 PM
MTC's Annie Warbucks cast has great talent, great voices, great kids, and lots of fun..........not to mention Sandy (aka Daisy, the golden retriever) . You just HAVE to find out what happens to Annie and Mr. Warbucks! Thanks to Mark,Carolann, Annette, Ms. Bennet, Gina, Kelsey, and everyone for making this another great MTC performance!!
Terry Testa November 30, 2012 at 10:29 PM
Mark, Gigi is very excited to be a part of the show! We can't wait to see the fruits of your labor these past few weeks!
Mark Morgan December 07, 2012 at 07:54 PM
Hi Moorestonians, We've got four more performances this weekend of our family-friendly production of "Annie Warbucks". Why don't you have lunch or dinner in one of Moorestown's great restaurants, and then come get in the holiday spirit by seeing our show at the Upper Elementary School? This musical sequel to "Annie" starts out on Christmas Day 1933, with the Orphans singing "We'll Have A New Deal For Christmas!", and follows all of the popular characters from the original production. This show is great for audience members of all ages, especially children, since the cast is made up entirely of children between the ages of six to 16 (and one dog!), and there's nothing like a live musical theater performance. Help us to close out our 10th Anniversary Season! Thanks, and Happy Holidays! Mark Morgan Director, "Annie Warbucks" Producing Artistic Director, Moorestown Theater Company President, Moorestown Business Association

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