‘Annie’ time: Gallery Players aim to cheer with little orphan musical

Hard knock life: The cast of the Gallery Players’ “Annie” rehearses ahead of the show’s Sept. 16 opening.
Brooklyn Paper
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook

Don’t miss our updates:

The sun will come out — next weekend!

The Park Slope theater group Gallery Players will launch its 51st season with a production of “Annie,” opening on Sept. 16. The show’s director hopes that the peppy musical will make people pick up their chin, and grin, even in a time of turmoil.

“It’s a feel-good show at a time when we could all use a little bit of that,” said Mark Harborth, who is also the artistic director of the company. “Without getting too political, we like to present something that’s at least relevant. We felt like it was kind of timely.”

The classic play, set during an economic depression, follows lovable orphan Annie as she melts the heart of a ruthless billionaire while searching for a family to call her own. The Gallery Players’ rendition features seven kids aged 6 to 11 — including 9-year-old Emma Grace Berardelli as the lead — among its 22-person cast, and their youthful energy has breathed new life into the production, said Harborth.

“I’ve been impressed with their energy and their creativity. They don’t hide anything, they just tell you how it is,” he said.

The kids have been hard at work rehearsing hits such as “Tomorrow,” “Maybe,” and “Hard Knock Life,” for the last five weeks, the latter of which will bring down the house, according to Harborth.

“Watching those kids sing it is amazing,” he said.

But working with youngsters has its challenges — the squirts come to practice after spending their days at camp, and the crew of orphans have to endure long hours.

“Rehearsals are at night and the kids have been doing summer camp all day,” Harborth said. “We’ve got to get the work done without exhausting them.”

The Gallery Players also hopes that presenting “Annie” will expand its audience of younger viewers, Haborth said, but the show will help clear away the cobwebs and the sorrow for attendees of all ages.

“It’s a great message of optimism,” he said. “Annie is a ray of sunshine in a cloudy sky.”

“Annie” at Gallery Players (199 14th St. between Fourth and Fifth avenues in Park Slope, Sept. 16–Oct. 8, Thu–Sat at 8 pm, Sundays at 3 pm. $30 ($20 seniors and kids).

Reach reporter Lauren Gill at or by calling (718) 260–2511. Follow her on Twitter @laurenk_gill
Updated 5:55 pm, July 9, 2018
Today’s news:
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook

Don’t miss our updates:

Reasonable discourse

Comments closed.

First name
Last name
Your neighborhood
Email address
Daytime phone

Your letter must be signed and include all of the information requested above. (Only your name and neighborhood are published with the letter.) Letters should be as brief as possible; while they may discuss any topic of interest to our readers, priority will be given to letters that relate to stories covered by The Brooklyn Paper.

Letters will be edited at the sole discretion of the editor, may be published in whole or part in any media, and upon publication become the property of The Brooklyn Paper. The earlier in the week you send your letter, the better.

Keep it local!

Stay in touch with your community. Subscribe to our free newsletter: