Thirty little girls stomp around the stage, belting out Hard Knock Life like a bunch of seasoned Broadway gypsies, throwing themselves into their roles as orphans with great abandonment. Miss Hannigan (Anita Aukes) played with brilliant comic timing and sensual, strident vocal virtuosity. A commanding stage presence with a sweet, vulnerable side and a beautifully disciplined voice displayed by Daddy Warbucks (Scott Duffus). Shady, scheming Rooster (Wes Hickock) and silly, ditzy Lily (Deb Smith). A caring, maternal Grace (Kimberly Pont) with a beautifully trained singing voice. Minor roles played with scene-stealing expertise, especially Mrs. Pugh (Laurie Stauffer), and the Star-To-Be (Beth Merkle). Behind the scenes volunteers keep everything running like clockwork. Charming choreography by Sabrina Schmidt. Expert music direction by show biz veteran, Robin Jons. All achieved under the alpha dog leadership of Kimberly Sommermeyer.
Shows are this Friday and Saturday at 7:30 PM and Sunday at 2 PM at the Sumner-Fredericksburg High School Auditorium. Tickets are $8 and selling out fast. For more information, call or text Kimberly at 563-379-2449.
As a veteran music director, I have had the time of my life working on this show! After working professionally in Des Moines for 30 years, I'm amazed at the high level of talent to found in Northeast Iowa communities. I always knew my hometown of Fredericksburg was chock full of extraordinary musicians and artists, and now I see the talent pool extends to the surrounding communities. It has been marvelous to collaborate with a tribe of fellow thespians and theater lovers on this project, and I look forward to many more, including some original musicals written by yours truly.
One of my goals when we moved back to Fredericksburg a few years ago was to give back to the community that had given me so much by being a mentor to gifted young people. This production of Annie has fulfilled my dreams and then some. Watching these kids shine makes my heart sing.
Volunteer. Give back. Pay it forward.
Dare to be brilliant.