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Seneca Valley’s Spring Musical 'Annie' Stars Sisters, 'Broadway' Dog Sandy

Rachel and Kristin Carmella face off as orphan Annie and Miss Hannigan in this year's production.

When it comes to Seneca Valley’s Annie, this year’s all-school musical, you can bet your bottom dollar that the talent is all in the family—literally.

Senior Kristin Carmella, is taking on the role of orphanage headmistress Miss Hannigan while Annie will be played by none other that her 14-year-old sister—Rachel Carmella.

“It’s really cute, we get to do a bunch of scenes together,” said Rachel, a freshman at the intermediate high school who has played Annie in past productions.

Don’t expect their interactions to be sweet, though. As bully Miss Hannigan, Kristin gets to push around her sister quite a bit, even smacking her across the face once or twice.

In real life, the sisters are close as can be, although Kristin admits she’s not afraid to criticize Rachel’s singing and dancing, out of love, of course.

“I’m really hard on her,” she said. “She is very talented for her age.”

For Kristin, who plans to major in musical theater when she heads off to college next fall, playing Miss Hannigan is a major departure from last year’s role, where she enchanted audiences as the sweet heroine.

As Miss Hannigan, Kristin speaks in a New York accent, drinks from a flask and even adds a snarl to her singing voice. Audiences should be prepared to see a totally different side of her, she said.

“They’re in for a surprise and a treat,” she said.

Also sure to delight audiences is Sandy. Oliver, the shaggy yellow dog brought in to play Annie’s companion, has played Sandy in numerous productions of Annie, including on Broadway.

“He’s the real deal,” said Rachel, who interacts the most with Oliver on stage.

Of course, Annie wouldn’t be complete without Daddy Warbucks.

Playing the billionaire businessman is newcomer Derek Plautz, who shaved his head for the role.

A senior at the high school, this is Derek’s first time participating in Seneca Valley’s all-school musical.

“I’ve always sung though” said Derek, who is a member of school’s choir.

Despite this being his first time acting in a musical, Derek said he’s having such a good time being part of the cast that he’s not worried about stage fright.

“I always thought I was going to be, but it’s so fun you don’t even think about it,” he said.

As for the rest of the cast, Beth Holl and Jamie Walters share the role of Grace Farrell, Oliver Warbucks' faithful secretary, while Lance Hahn plays Rooster, Miss Hannigan’s no-good brother. Amanda Wise is Lily, Rooster’s girlfriend.

If You’re Going:

Annie will be performed at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 22 and Saturday, Feb. 23 and at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, March 1, and on Saturday, March 2 at Seneca Valley Intermediate High School. There also will be a matinee performance at 2 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 24.

Tickets are $8 to $10. Buy your tickets at the door one hour before the show or click here to buy them online. You also may buy tickets by calling 724-452-6040, ext. 1406. Visit the Seneca Valley website for more information.

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Orange Chic February 22, 2013 at 06:18 PM
The photo of Grace Farrell, Hannigan and Annie shows Beth Holl as Grace Farrell and not Jamie Walters.
Jessica Sinichak February 22, 2013 at 06:24 PM
I just corrected it. Thanks!
Margo Bortnyik February 23, 2013 at 04:25 PM
Just saw Annie last night, wonderful play, go and see it, SV plays are always great.
Chris Township February 26, 2013 at 12:23 PM
This article told of the Broadway dog, Sandy. What it didn't say was how much it cost the school to rent Sandy for this production. I have heard a rumor of $5,000 to $10,000? If this is true, I am disgusted! In a time when schools are complaining of budgets, they spend money so frivolously? Way to teach students how to live within their own means! No wonder our country is in so much financial trouble!
Lou Borough February 28, 2013 at 01:42 AM
No taxpayer money is used for the musical aside from the two small advisor salaries. The all-school musical is a student activity that is completely self-funded based off of ticket sales. Speaking of, I saw "Annie" this past weekend and was impressed by the performance. High-caliber stuff. Great job, cast and crew!

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