LCHS presents Broadway musical

The Lake County High School Performing Arts Dept. will present its latest musical production, Annie, Thursday-Sunday Feb. 22-25. With a cast of more than 35 community members and K-12 students, aided by a production staff of over 15 hands, this impressive group of Leadvillians began tackling the Tony Award-winning production in August. Annie is the latest in a line of challenging productions that have surpassed expectations for high school theater and rewarded the City in the Clouds with hard-earned praise, culture and entertainment.

High school musicals can be a gamble, especially in a rural district like Leadville’s, but Scott Carroll moved to Lake County to become artistic director at LCHS in 2013. Upon arrival, Carroll started mining for talent and proved that leadership is all it takes to make gold from ore. The result is main-stage production value, coordination that spins like a top and creative excellence. It’s as rewarding for the academically qualifying students on the stage as it is for the community members that fill up the sold-out auditorium. And word is spreading.

“It’s surprising what Scott has done in such a short time,” says Ark Valley arts enthusiast Ben G. Negurran. “Don’t even think of it as high school theater. Think of it as Theatre, with a capital T.”

It was the 2015 production of Beauty and the Beast that started turning heads. To unprecedented local acclaim, the show filled up the auditorium for two straight weekends and had people asking, “Where did this come from?”

What was a low-budget extracurricular activity just a few years previous had transformed into a program that pushed students to try something new and match the value and effort that the staff was now willing and able to provide.

Since then, LCHS has put on Little Shop of Horrors, and Carroll lent his talents to the Tabor Opera House with a community production of Lend Me a Tenor. Now, with Annie, the crowd knows what to expect, and the cast and crew know it.

“All of these performers … have worked extremely hard,” says Carroll. “We are excited to present their work to the community of Leadville.”

Annie is the story of the lovable red-headed orphan (played by both Bailey Sprague and Jude Hill) imprisoned at the original “school of hard knocks,” the Hudson Street Orphanage. On a quest to discover her parentage and escape the thrall of the cruel Miss Hannigan (Annemarie Duel), Annie takes to the city, where her adventures cross paths with the billionaire oligarch Oliver Warbucks (Alex Guzman) and even President Franklin D. Roosevelt (Luke Finken).

Featuring an award-winning score by Charles Strouse, including that most optimistic of show tunes, “Tomorrow,” Annie is a singing and dancing tale of pluck and positivity that reminds us that even the smallest of downtrodden people can rise to glory.

Lake County High School is located at 1000 W. Fourth St. in Leadville. Tickets can be purchased online at LakeCountyHighSchool.BrownPaperTickets.com or by calling
719-486-6950.

Performances begin Thursday, Feb. 22, at 7:30 p.m., followed by 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. showings Saturday, Feb. 24, and a closing performance at 2 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 25.

Presale tickets are $12 for adults, $10 for seniors and $8 for children/students. Door prices are $2 more.