One of the classic Broadway shows is coming to a classic theater. Antonia Arts, created and spearheaded by Scarlet Antonia, will be presenting the popular musical “Annie” on Jan. 8 and 9 at the Paramount Center for the Arts in Peekskill. Antonia Arts is a relatively new production company, performing “Cats” at the Paramount last year. Antonia is acting as the artistic director for this year’s production and said her goal is to bring the arts to the city. “There is a good level of arts in Peekskill and the surrounding area,” Antonia said. “To be at the Paramount is really exciting for all of us. It’s a beautiful and gorgeous theater.” Annie will also feature an intergenerational cast, including several grandparents and grandchildren acting together. Melodie Wolford, the actress who plays Miss Hannigan, the head of the orphanage where Annie lives, grew up in an orphanage. “We’re excited to have her on board,” Antonia said. “It adds a lot of depth to her character. She shares with the kids her experiences in the orphanage.” Keeping with the family atmosphere, Wolford’s son is also in the show. Besides the familial elements, “Annie” is a professional production, featuring actors that have a long list of credits to their name. “We have a lot of really good talent,” Antonia said. “Brian Taylor, who plays Daddy Warbucks, is new to our artistic community. He’s done Broadway as a musician, but this is his first time on stage. He’s new to our artist community.” Aside from putting on full-scale productions, Antonia Arts is also a performing arts academy, featuring acting classes and tips on how to audition. Antonia Arts also hopes to perform cabarets and revues. Antonia has been in show business since she started out as a dancer at 13 years old, and estimates that she has helped stage more than 300 shows as a director, choreographer or producer. She also helped direct three shows for Peekskill High School and enjoys interacting with the youngsters. “I really enjoy teaching the children,” Antonia said. “The children enjoy it. We also have classes for adults in singing, dancing and classical ballet. It’s a true performing arts academy.” Antonia said she thinks that the popularity of “Annie” has endured because of its joyfulness that gives people hope. The show’s signature song, “The Sun Will Come Out Tomorrow,” is about hope and optimism. “We always have tomorrow to look forward to,” Antonia said. “It’s very timely in our society. The show takes place in 1933, which was a very depressing time. It’s similar to what we’re going through now. It’s just an easy, happy and joyful show. We all need joy in our life.” Annie is being performed on Saturday, Jan. 8 at 7 p.m. and Sunday, Jan. 9 at 3 p.m. Tickets are $30; $15 for seniors and students. For more information, call 914-739-2333 ext. 21 or visit www.paramountcenter.org.
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