If there is one show that will keep on selling out is Annie. On April 23, families and fans from all over New London County in Connecticut came to the Garde Arts Center to see the famous show. The story of a little orphaned girl with red hair and a fiery spirit finds happiness when she goes to live with a millionaire over the Christmas holidays. The story lives on today as was shown at the Garde.
When I arrived the box office lobby was packed with patrons anxiously waiting to get inside. Many of them were looking inside the main lobby as souvenirs like a Little Orphan Annie Doll and soundtracks to be sold. While the ushers received their final instructions, the bartenders finished setting up before the doors would be opened.
Once the doors opened there was an endless stream of people who came inside. One by one the patrons rushed to buy their souvenirs while others headed to the bar to get a candy bar or a drink. Several little girls were dressed in Annie’s traditional and famous red dress. Many patrons were talking about the show they were about to see, while others were looking at the brochures on display.
When the doors opened for the theater there was the poster of Annie on the screen. When the lights dimmed, Steve Sigel walked up to the stage to welcome the audience. While on stage he announced future shows like Kris Kristofferson, Donovan, and David Crosby. While he was up there he welcomed sponsors from Olde Mistick Village Joyce Resnikoff and Susette from Simply Majestic Jewelers.
Joyce remarked to the audience about the wonderful show they were about to see. She thanked the parents for taking their children to see a show in a live theater with a lovely dog that comes on stage. When she was finished the lights dimmed and the show began.
The audience was entranced by the traditional show of Annie as many started to sing along to some of their favorite songs. Every time the dog, Sandy, came on stage there were sounds of awe and joy. When intermission came after the first act flew by, there were audience members admiring the photographs in the lobby while others were talking about the show.
After intermission and the second act audience members were heading out of the theater to buy a final momento from the show. Who would have thought that a show that started at the Goodspeed Opera House in nearby East Haddam would be world famous? When Steve Sigel spoke at the beginning he remarked on the humble beginnings Annie had when the show first premiered there. Today, Annie still manages to find her way into the hearts of everyone around. The Garde Arts Center managed to make a mark again in the hearts of residents in New London, Connecticut.