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The sun is coming out for Denairs Annie
Annie pic2
Annie and Sandy find a happy home with Daddy Warbucks and Grace. Pictured are Mary Curry, Kurt Vander Weide, Carly Berich and Henry the dog. - photo by SABRA STAFFORD / The Journal
The story of little orphan Annie and her faithful canine companion Sandy is opening at the Denair Gaslight Theatre Friday night.The well-known musical stars 12-year-old Mary Curry as Annie; former Turlock City Councilman Kurt Vander Weide as the billionaire tycoon Daddy Warbucks; Esther Herrera as Miss Hannigan, the miserly matron of the orphanage; Carly Berich as Grace, Warbuck’s secretary; and Henry, the golden retriever and border collie mix  who is playing the role of Sandy.The musical is directed by John Armes and features a cast of 27 actors.The Gaslight’s version of “Annie” is based on the 1999 made-for-television version, which was in turn based on the 1977 Broadway musical.Armes said the show will feature some new songs, but fans need not worry because classic songs of “Tomorrow,” “It’s A Hard Knock Life,” and “Easy Street” are all still present.Curry, a home-schooled student through Providence Christian Academy, is making her theatrical debut as the mop-top orphan with pluck to spare.“My friend was going to audition and she was really talking it up, so I decided to give it a try,” Curry said.The natural red head was a perfect fit for the title role and Curry is pretty anxious for the curtain to rise.“I’m excited and nervous,” she said. “I think it’s going to be really cool to go out on the stage in front of an audience.”Making a return to the community theater stage is Vander Weide, who in 2004 took on the role of Willy Wonka. Vander Weide most recently was a candidate for the 25th Assembly district and has found some similarities between politics and theater.“In theater your job is to make the character real and believable and in a certain sense you have to sell yourself in politics,” he said.The show will run at 7 p.m. Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, as well as 2 p.m. Sundays through Aug. 15. Tickets are $6 to $8 and can be reserved by calling 664-9514. The theater is at 3908 N. Gratton Road in Denair.To contact Sabra Stafford, e-mail or call 634-9141 ext. 2002.