SKIT production of ‘Annie’ is holiday success

The audience may have left humming either “It’s a Hard-Knock Life” or “Tomorrow,” but whichever show stopping tune stuck in their heads, there was no doubt that “Annie” was a hit.

The barely 1-year-old Southern Kids In Theatre brought the production to the stage at Pellissippi Performing Arts Center for three shows Dec. 7-8. Making sure all got a chance in the spotlight, the Southern Kids In Theatre Showchoir opened the production and also performed before Act Two. Soloists included Blaine Coyle, Clair Scott, Emily Stiles, Kara Lonsdale, Andre Dennis, Desmond Montoya, Ethan Turbyfil and Jessica Dunn.

From the opening scene with Annie, played expertly by Brooke Baird, belting out “Maybe,” the thought of a “kids” production vanished.

Keith McDaniel as Daddy Warbucks brought his seasoned expertise to the stage and the young people in the production rose to the challenge. Brooke Baird showed her talent in both voice and acting, and didn’t do bad tapping her way through a couple of numbers as well. The trio of Taylor Helmboldt (Rooster), Lindsey Lowe (Miss Hannigan) and Michaela McMurtrey (Lily St. Regis) were show-stoppers in each of their numbers. Hollye Bynum was a properly perfect Grace Farrell.

As the performance reached it’s end, the toymaker (Larry Lonsdale) brought out a surprise as Dancing Doll Hayley Montague did a beautiful ballet number.

The progress of SKIT in its short life has been impressive. Founder and director Debra Lonsdale and recently added assistant director and acting instructor Gayle Greene evidently have a talented group of young people and the expertise and know-how to bring out that talent.

Don’t miss their next production. For information on SKIT, contact the Lonsdales at 865-621-0216 or visit

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