|Maryanna Lauter is ready to take center stage as Annie, her third time in this show|
The Farmington Players’ production of Annie is a “family show” in more ways than one. The show’s plotline centers on Annie’s search for her birth parents. The holiday themed classic is certainly family friendly. But perhaps the strongest family tie is the large number of direct family members who are sharing the stage. I count at least 14 relatives, mostly moms and daughters. While it can be fun “playing” with mom, for 10 year-old Maryanna Lauter it also adds a little extra pressure. Maryanna plays the title role of Annie, and her mom Amy Lauter co-directs the show with Terie Spencer. Maryanna admits, “I was a little worried about trying out because my mom was one of the directors. I like it, but sometimes it's easier to take direction from Terie or other people on the Annie team” rather than her Mom.
This is Maryanna's third time in Annie, previously appearing in the orphan chorus, and then as Molly (while Amy played Grace in both productions). Her familiarity with the show definitely helped prepare her for her first title role (“This time I really was hoping to be Annie!”) but Maryanna has really been preparing her whole life to take center stage. As Amy recalls, “Maryanna has been singing since she was very little ... but I distinctly remember when her ‘light bulb’ went off and she knew it was something she was good at. At age 5 or 6, she worked on music for auditions for Gypsy here at the Barn. She was singing kind of softly, and then the ‘Mama Rose’ in me told her to sing out. She belted it out in our living room, and I remember her saying, "I didn't know I could do that!" She is getting such an early start; I know if she continues to work hard she will achieve so much. I am very proud of her and look forward to seeing the audience react to her.”
My own opinion is that audiences will be blown away to hear such a powerful voice coming from such a “little girl.” Just like Annie, Maryanna’s contagious optimism will win people over. As she says, “I LOVE theatre and music! I hope to be on Broadway one day!” She likes that “Annie is very optimistic - she can turn anything from bad to good!” Maryanna can also relate to the play’s “message of love, because pretty much everyone ‘falls in love’ with Annie. Ironically, Daddy Warbucks, who at the beginning of the show is not so sure about Annie, by the end he loves her so much he adopts her.”
Maryanna also has kind words for her fellow cast mates: “I just love Rachel Biber who plays Miss Hannigan. She gets to be mean to me in the show and I absolutely hate her in the show, which is the total opposite of real life. Also Dorne LeFere, Daddy Warbucks, is just wonderful. He is so silly in real life during rehearsals, and it's fun to goof around with him. Shannon Groves who plays Grace Farrell and I have so much in common - I love talking to her. She has such a pretty voice too! And all of the orphans are so nice and Hazel Ward is the cutest Molly ever. I love working with all the orphans and it is very fun to be on stage with all of them. We didn't even know each other before and now we are all such good friends.”
The Farmington Players' production of Annie is proudly sponsored by Mall Malisow & Cooney, PC. The show runs from December 13 to 29. Tickets are going fast and can be purchased online at www.farmingtonplayers.org or by calling the box office at 248-553-2955.