Little Orphan Annie burst on the scene as a comic strip in 1924 in the NY Daily News. Once the Depression came, Annie represented a pipe dream: an orphan girl rescued and then adopted by the improbably named Oliver “Daddy” Warbucks. The comic strip gave hope to those struggling to put food on the table for their families, just as did the musical 42nd Street with its fantasy song, “We’re in the Money.”

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On Friday, August 20, I had the pleasure of watching Roberta Weiner’s Prana production of The Lion King, Jr. It was the last day of camp, and this was the dress rehearsal, so much excitement was in the air. 

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On a sunny Thursday afternoon I had the enormous pleasure of watching 10 talented children put on their first dress rehearsal of Anne of Green Gables. (See cast list below.) The youngest was in first grade, and only two were in fifth grade. Amazingly, they brought this well-loved tale to life despite their ages.

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Friday, March 12 I had the delightful experience of watching the first of the dress rehearsals of Prana’s next production. Practicing since January outdoors, this intrepid group of middle schoolers have been braving temperatures in the thirties to put on this play. In All the World’s a Stage, Roberta Weiner has created a witches’ brew of excitement, murder, romance, humor and mayhem from some of the Bard’s most famous plays.

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Saturday, October 17th, I was lucky enough to see Prana’s production of a book that made it all the way to Broadway, Tuck Everlasting. Performed out in the parking lot of Christ the King Church, this was a non-musical version of the Broadway show. An outstanding job was done by eight teenagers portraying a family that got stuck, not tuck, in time.

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“Ever afterwards…it was said of him that he knew how to keep Christmas well, if any man alive possessed the knowledge. May that be truly said of us, and all of us! So, as Tiny Tim observed, God bless us, every one!” Thus ended Charles Dickens’ tale. This version at Prana, sold out tonight and offered twice on Saturday 12/7 at 1:30 and 3:30, overflows with this spirit.

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