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“Annie Jr.” Opens to a Standing Ovation

by Denise McGahee Wednesday, Aug. 12, 2009 at 12:59 PM
denisemc@tampabay.rr.com

Clearwater, FL – Spectacular, remarkable and entertaining are just a few of the words to describe the performance of the forty youth from ages two to seventeen, on stage in the Broadway production of "Annie Jr." produced by Doria Kintzel, presented by International Youth Theater, at the Francis Wilson Playhouse Theater, on August 8. With proceeds to Youth for Human Rights Florida, the kids performed to a packed house as the young performers sang and danced the story of Annie Jr., with opening skits educating the audience about Human Rights, including most appropriately “The Right to Play.”

“Annie Jr.” Open...
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Tabs Marshall stirred the audience as she powerfully sang, “Tomorrow” in the starring role of Annie. With deafening applause following each song, she brought her character to life, and brought the audience into the play with her first Broadway performance.



Despite her sweet personality offstage, Gabby Durand’s performance as the bitter, cold Miss Hannigan was so convincing that she is now known as “Miss Hannigan.” Paralleled to a New York Broadway performance, her acting and singing captivated the audience.



But the awe-inspiring talent was not limited to the main characters. “You’re Never Fully Dressed Without a Smile” depicted the fifteen talented little “orphan girls”, each one in unison, singing and dancing without missing a step, with smiles as big as they come.



Among the many laughs were “three little dogs”, played by Veronica Zaniboni, Alexia Lorenzini and Ilaria Johnson, who temporarily “stole the show” as they sat on “all fours,” panting with a smile.



The night opened with a surprise of a delightful presentation of three original skits, the first of which communicated the importance of The United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights as told by Arianna Lorenzini and Martina Zerbo. The second skit reminded us something many of us take for granted, that there is a “The Right to Play.” The final skit had the audiences rolling with laughter as Jonathan Schneider and Matt Beck fought for human rights and ended with peace and tolerance for all.



The night ended with more than 40 enchanted youth on stage, along with fourteen-year-old director Sky Kintzel. A director of any age would be pleased about tonight’s performance, but to work with these kids for only three weeks, and to create this stunning performance, is a feat few fourteen year olds can add to their credit.



International Youth Theater producer, Doria Kintzel, chose "Annie Jr." because she loves children and the arts. After the show she commented, “I could not have been more proud of every one of the young talented actors and actresses tonight. This was an unforgettable performance and a true symbol of Human Right #19 Freedom of Expression - a freedom children of all ages should be able to experience.”



International Youth Theater, located in Clearwater, Florida, has the mission assisting the development of young artist while enlightening them on their abilities and responsibilities to help improve human rights around the world.



Youth for Human Rights Florida teaches human rights according to the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, both in and out of the classroom to make human rights a reality for all. “It was great to see a show as well performed as Annie Jr. promoting the education of human rights,” said Youth for Human Rights Florida President, Dustin McGahee. “For those people who have it good at home, the play reminded us that not everyone is so fortunate and some people have human rights violated everyday.”

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by Denise McGahee Wednesday, Aug. 12, 2009 at 12:59 PM
denisemc@tampabay.rr.com

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