Casting call: Kaatza Lakeside Players choosing actors for ‘Annie’

The Kaatza Lakeside Players are again taking on a huge musical for their spring production

Are you ready for Annie at Lake Cowichan?

The Kaatza Lakeside Players are again taking on a huge musical for their spring production and this time it features everybody’s favourite fluffy-haired orphan.

A blockbuster like Annie is a big, big production for a small group like the Players, said director Dena McPhee, after a casting call went out last week.

“At least on a par with Wizard of Oz,” she said. “I just hope it will be as successful as our Wizard of Oz was.”

A show like this is expensive so it’s a bit of a leap of faith by the Kaatza Lakeside Players.

“We’re taking a huge chance. But, we have a great board who are really enthusiastic; a new board, obviously. We want it to happen and we’re hoping.

Open auditions are scheduled for Thursday and Friday, Nov. 12 and 13, at Lake Cowichan’s Centennial Hall (next to the sports arena) starting at 6:30 p.m. both nights.

McPhee and Co. are looking for the show’s stars.

“We’re hoping somewhere in there is an Annie and a Miss Hannigan, Rooster, her brother and of course a Daddy Warbucks.”

Those are all great parts and, of course, there’s such good music in Annie, which makes it extra fun to sing.

McPhee agreed.

“Unfortunately a lot of it didn’t get sung after the show first came out. There’s the song, Tomorrow, which I’m sure we’ll all be sick to death of by the time it’s over, and perhaps Maybe but they would be the only two people would know now.”

There are so many others, she said, but they’re more obscure.

“But how often do you get to sing a song like Hooverville or Easy Street, even though they are great songs?”

Audition packages are still available at Curves in Lake Cowichan.

“And we will have some at the audition but we encourage anybody who is interested to grab an audition package first because it has the parts to be read and explains all about the play and the production staff, and lists all the production jobs that are available, too,” McPhee said.

“We had fabulous volunteer support for Wizard of Oz. Of course it helped that we had a lot of children involved. We’re hoping that that will happen again because we need all the help we can get, as usual. And it’s so fun, of course.”

If you love to sing, why not give it a try? Sure, they need an Annie and some other leads, but there are plenty of chances for those folks who are only too happy to just be in a show, or even in the background.

McPhee stressed this point.

“And a lot of young people, in particular, don’t want to sing alone. They would rather sing in a group and be a part of it that way. That was what happened with Wizard of Oz. People were happy to be a part of the chorus and get to wear silly costumes, which were fabulous.

“There are great chances for them in the Warbucks mansion and in Hooverville. They’ll be very busy, the people who take on the chorus roles. There will be a lot of costume changes and a lot of songs to sing. And some dance steps to learn. We’re hoping to get Bonnie Nicholson from Carlson again to help us with the choreography. Hilary Kidd is another one who’s in town who’s teaching dancing now; she was also very helpful in Wizard of Oz,” she said.

Once casting is done, the work begins with a couple of table readings and a discussion about the characters and the scenes. Then, in January, full rehearsals will start.

“And we’re also still looking for a dog, too,” McPhee said.