FLINT – The Young People’s Ballet Theatre will present its 30th annual ballet, Little Orphan Annie, on March 1, at 6:30 p.m., March 2, at 7 p.m., March 3 at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. and March 4 at 2 p.m.
Performances for this full-length production ballet will take place at the University of Michigan-Flint Theatre, 303 E. Kearsley Street. Advance tickets start at $10; all seating is reserved. Discounted rates are available for Girl Scouts, Senior Citizens and other groups by calling 810- 623-2980.
Purchase tickets at tututix.com/ypbt or by calling 855-222-2849.
Little Orphan Annie is an original ballet choreographed by Dale Brannon. The exuberant music he chose for this ballet is by Dmitri Shostakovich. Brannon collaborated with YPBT for many years and created nineteen ballets for the YPBT Company.
Alan Obuzor, guest artist from Pittsburgh, will dance the lead role of Daddy Warbucks. In 2013, Obuzor, a former principal dancer with Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre, was named one of the “Top 25 to Watch” in Dance Magazine. As a student, he was the recipient of the prestigious Princess Grace Award. In 2011, Obuzor founded Texture Contemporary Ballet, based in Pittsburgh. He presently choreographs and performs with his company.
Little Orphan Annie, based on the famous cartoon strip by Harold Gray for the Chicago Tribune was made famous by the Broadway musical, Annie. Set in the 1930’s, Annie is a fiery young orphan girl who must live in a miserable orphanage run by the tyrannical Miss Hannigan. Her seemingly hopeless situation changes dramatically when she is selected to spend a short time at the residence of the wealthy industrialist, Oliver Warbucks. Quickly, she charms the hearts of the household staff and even the seemingly cold-hearted Warbucks cannot help but learn to love this wonderful girl. He decides to help Annie find her long-lost parents by offering a reward if they would come to him and prove their identity.
However, Miss Hannigan, her evil brother, Rooster, and his girlfriend Lil, plan to impersonate those people to get the reward for themselves which put Annie in great danger. Their antics create chaos in the lives of Annie and her orphan friends, but Annie manages to outwit them in the end. Although Annie has had a difficult life, her spirit is always optimistic, and with all her adventures, she manages to bring cheer to all she meets.
The YPBT Company consists of dancers between the ages of eight and eighteen from Genesee, Saginaw, St. Clair, Livingston, and Bay Counties. Our performances are professionally choreographed and great entertainment for audiences of all ages. Auditions are held early each fall for students interested in joining the YPBT Company.
Dancers with lead roles in Annie: Cassie Thoms from Flushing as Annie, Jacy Klein from Brighton as Grace, Emily Czerniak from Grand Blanc as Pepper, Caitlin Cooper from Davison as Lil, MacKenna McKnight from Flushing and Cathy Terhune from Saginaw as the Lead Maid. Additional guest artists include Lucas Moquin as Rooster, and Diane Clift as Miss Hannigan. – G.G.