The popular comic strip heroine took center stage in one of the world’s best-loved musicals as the show opened on April 16 to sold-out performances that closed on April 25.
Center Stage was founded by artistic director Barry Dean 25 years ago. This is the third production of “Annie” in the company’s history. Dean and his assistant, musical director Carrie Warren, expertly directed a cast of 82 students and a labradoodle as Sandy, following auditions that were held in January. The duo produces and directs such quality work that audiences almost feel as though they are on Broadway.
Alex has been a member of Center Stage for two years. Her debut was as a castle guard in “Sleeping Beauty” and an Oompa-Loompa in “Willy Wonka.” “Annie” is the third production in which Miss Simmons has been cast. She is a 9-year-old fourth-grade student at Elm Grove Elementary School and a former student of St. Philip’s Episcopal School in Beeville. Her interests include swimming, singing, soccer, cross-stitching and playing with friends.
Several family members and close friends attended the musical debut of Miss Simmons in a leading role. Attending the performance from Beeville were Jodi Huegler (grandmother), Mimi Bunker (great-grandmother), Linda Blackburn, Nona Clay Brinkoeter, Susan and Jim Crumrine and Laura and Jon Fischer. Other out-of-town guests included Ashley and Zander Blunt, Karen Burke, Courtney and Carlos Garcia, and Ana and Alicia Garcia. Family and friends from Kingwood via Beeville included Susan and Ed Schrump and Sarah Hickman Hearn.