For the past week, the Livingston Post has been profiling cast and crew members of the Community Theatre of Howell’s production of “Annie.” The show opens Friday.
For their first Community Theatre of Howell show, Chrissy and Maya Griffon certainly picked a big one.
The mother-and-daughter duo – who live in Howell with dad Eric and brother Colton – have two of the biggest roles in CTH’s production of “Annie.”
Chrissy is playing Grace, while Maya has the title role of Annie.
Not only is this their first CTH show – it’s their first theatrical production of any kind.
“Yes, this is our first show with any theater,” said Chrissy, who teaches kindergarten at Round Elementary School in Hartland. “Maya has been involved in dance and tumbling up until now. She’s danced at Modern Messages Dance Company and has been a part of their annual Christmas production for the past three years. Last year, she was a featured tumbler in the production.”
“Annie” is the beloved Broadway classic based on the story of Little Orphan Annie. The musical tells the Depression-era tale of how Annie breaks away from the evil orphanage master Miss Hannigan, and how she wins the heart of the ultra-rich Daddy Warbucks. The songs include “Hard Knock Life” and the classic “Tomorrow.”
The Griffons have been having a blast in their first show, and when it comes to CTH – as Annie herself would say, “I think I’m gonna like it here.”
“The best thing about CTH are the people, for sure,” said Maya, a sixth-grader at Farms Intermediate School in Hartland. “They are always so nice and welcoming. I’m making a lot of new friends.”
“I’ve really enjoyed getting to know the people,” Chrissy added. “Everyone has been so welcoming.”
When the Griffons heard that CTH was doing “Annie,” they figured the time was right to make the leap into community theater.
“I’ve seen ‘Annie’ many times,” Maya said. “It’s my favorite musical. When I heard they were doing ‘Annie,’ I was eager to try out. I really like the songs and the hopefulness of the storyline.”
“Annie has been a favorite of mine since I was a kid,” Chrissy said. “I love all of the music. Grace Farrell is basically me in real life (minus the rich boss and many servants). I’m definitely stepping out of my comfort zone with theater, but have found that this role is a good starter for me.”
And Maya is loving her time as America’s favorite orphan.
“Annie is spunky and tough and that’s fun,” she said. “I like that I get to be sassy, cause my parents would be mad at me if I was sassy at home!”
“This show is a lot of fun,” Chrissy said. “The audience can expect some laughs, for sure. The cast is also extremely talented on so many levels.”
“They can expect to see good dancing and singing and acting thanks to our great director Kevin (Rogers) and vocal coach Bethany (Bean) and choreographer Anni (Ulman),” Maya added.
The Community Theatre of Howell is presenting “Annie” at the Howell High School Freshman Campus, 1400 W. Grand River Ave., Howell. Shows are Nov. 15-17 and 22-24, with showtimes at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, with matinees at 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday each weekend.
Tickets are $18 for adults, $16 for students and seniors, available at Finding Roots in Howell, Maria’s School of Dance in Fowlerville, Big Acre in Brighton, and Ed Bock Feed and Seed in Pinckney. Tickets are also available by calling 517-545-1290, or online at cththeatre.org. You can buy tickets by clicking here.