Big turnout for little orphan Annie


Ryan Fischer

Heidi Gray sings "Maybe" to open "Annie" at the Keith Albee on Feb. 24, 2016.



Annie opened to a large crowd Wednesday at the Keith Albee Theatre, temporarily halting Fourth Avenue traffic as droves of locals flocked to see the iconic 70s performance.

The event had nearly sold out according to marketing director at The Marshall Artists Series Angela Jones.

“We always are quite busy when it’s a big Broadway show, and with this show being nearly a sell out you know you are doing something people are excited about,” Jones said. “Students, faculty, staff and the general public are all coming out to see this.”

Marshall Artists Series graduate assistant Michael Ross performed in “Annie” as one of his first performances in childhood.

“The play is definitely a whole different story,” Ross said. “I don’t know, it’s nice to have a different perspective on it. And live theatre, you know, it just feels so fresh and inviting, and you’re just part of it.”

Ross said although he was attending the play as an employee of Marshall University, he would have definitely made it a point to attend one of his personal favorites.

“As a performer I have to say NYC is the best, having the whole cast singing and stuff,” Ross said. “My personal favorite is ‘Easy Street.’ I love that bad guy song; it’s so good.”

A comic strip contest was also run by the Marshall Artists Series to give students the chance to create in the likeness of Annie’s inspiration by comic artist Harold Gray.

“The contest offered cash to the student who designed the political comic strip in the style of the original ‘Little Orphan Annie’ comic strip that ran in the newspapers by Harold Gray,” news anchor Tim Irr said.

Kaitlyn Hartford, a graphic design major from Lewisburg, West Virginia won the comic contest with her strip centering on racial inequality at the 2016 Oscars and its choice of Chris Rock as host. 

Ryan Fischer can be contacted at [email protected]