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There’s still time to catch ‘Annie’ — two performances remain

By now the word has spread. Music Boosters’ production of “Annie” is a must-see and you still have time to say that you were there.

The cast is well rehearsed and audience ready, all that remains is to fill the house. Help us make an historical turnout for this Music Boosters’ show. Join in on the excitement, let our singers and actors thrill your soul for an evening and kick off your July 4 weekend with a heart warm enough to match the weather.

Three lead actors have yet to be introduced to you. All have been part of the Pagosa scene for several years and all three come to Pagosa from afar.

The eldest is 19-year-old Jarret Heber, a Chicago native who came to Pagosa in his freshman year of high school. Jarret was encouraged by his eighth-grade English teacher, who recognized his proclivity for acting when their class did some scenes from Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night.” Jarret’s first theater experience was actually here in Pagosa Springs, when he was cast as one of the Wickersham brothers in the high school production of “Suzzical.”

Following that, in drama class, he was cast as Sandy Links in “Alibis.” Drama club sponsor Dale Morris further encouraged his interest in the stage and he got a part in the club’s presentation of “Pressure.” During the Christmas season of 2006, Jarret was cast in the Boosters’ production of “Nuncrackers.” He played the part of Father Virgil/ Sister Julia, Child of God, and brought the house down with his hilarious rendition of Julia Child enjoying her rum-besotted fruitcake. During Jarret’s sophomore year he was cast as the Scarecrow in the high school production of “The Wiz.” This was followed by his role in “Oliver” as the funeral home director. The following summer the Music Boosters’ production staff recruited him to play Prince Charming in its musical, “Into the Woods.” Each time, Jarret demonstrated his ability to rise to the challenge before him. Each time, he was able to bring something unique to his role and delight the audience. After finishing his high school course of study, Jarret decided he wanted a change of scenery so he headed for upstate New York, Oneonta, and worked as a cook there. He developed an interest in organic food and farming and hopes to pursue a career either as an organic farmer or as a restaurateur. When the original actor cast as Rooster for this show was unable to continue his participation, Morris called Jarret and asked him to fill the role. Fortunately for us, Jarret agreed. Once again, Jarret has shown that he will not disappoint but continue to delight his audience. We are thrilled to present him in this pivotal comic role in our production of “Annie.”

Second in seniority in terms of acting experience with Music Boosters and local productions is 16-year-old Sierra Hewett. Sierra hails from Florida and has studied dance (jazz and hip-hop) and singing since she was 4 years old. Her first play found her playing the part of a balloon girl in a high school production of “Gypsy” in her home state. After coming to Pagosa, Sierra found herself drawn to a Music Boosters’ audition. She came in and sang and read for the part of Tiny Tim. Thus at 8 years of age, Sierra found herself center stage and bringing a tear to nearly everyone in the house with her special voice. She later appeared in “Boom, Bust and Battle,” “A Wonderful Life,” “The Sound of Music” as Brigitta, and in “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat,” all Music Boosters’ productions. This past spring she was cast in one of the main leads in the high school production of “ High School Musical,” where she portrayed Sharpay, the devious and scheming nemesis of the show’s romantic lead. In Annie” she plays the part of an equally devious and scheming character of dubious background, Lily, the girlfriend of Rooster Hannigan. Sierra seems to have the ability to nearly “channel” the characters she portrays. You will be charmed and amused by this young lady’s ability to entertain. Sierra aspires to either a career in business or singing. My money’s on the latter.

Laura Stine is cast as Grace, Oliver Warbucks’ right-hand lady and love interest. Laura is 17 years old and will be a senior at Pagosa Springs High School this next fall. She came to Pagosa from Arizona where she lived until her eighth-grade year.

Laura has been interested in theater since she was six years old when the Missoula Children’s Theater touring group came to Cave Creek, Ariz.. The staff drafted local children for a production they were about to put on there and Laura was among them. She doesn’t remember her part, only that it peaked her interest. During her final year in Cave Creek, Laura played the part of Snow White.

Her first musical and theater experience in Pagosa was in the high school production of “The Wiz” during her freshman year where she participated in the chorus. Later in “Westside Story” she played the part of Thelma. She loves dance and has studied it since she was six years old. She and five other high school students were featured as swing dancers in the Music Boosters production which showcased trumpeter, Chris Lawson.

Laura’s love of singing brought her to high school choir class both semesters of her recently completed junior year. Although Laura is still unsure of her future career path, she definitely wishes to pursue theater and dance in college This summer finds Laura in one of the lead roles in “Annie.” Laura brings an uncommon grace and charm to the role which will entice even the most jaded of audiences.

Music Boosters is proud to showcase such talented youth and is excited to share them with you. One of the goals of Music Boosters is to develop and nurture young talent. We are delighted to continually discover the talents of our local community and provide a forum for them.

We invite you to come out and experience for yourself the magic of theater and the enchantment of live and local talent.

Final shows for “Annie” are tonight, July 1, at 7 p.m. and tomorrow, July 2, at the same hour. Tickets can be purchased at the Chamber, brownpapertickets.com, or at the door. See you there!