Charli Elliot

Local star: Sixth-grader Charli Elliott, a student at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Catholic School in Herrin, plays the lead in the McLeod Summer Playhouse production of the popular musical “Annie.”  (Photo provided)

July 08, 2013

‘Annie’ hits the McLeod Theater stage July 12

by Andrea Hahn

CARBONDALE, Ill. – The popular musical “Annie” brings favorite Broadway songs and family entertainment to the McLeod Theater as part of the McLeod Summer Playhouse.

The musical runs July 12-14 and July 19-21, with evening performances at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday performances as a 2 p.m. matinee.

The story brought to life a popular comic strip starring a redheaded orphan named Annie whose many adventures included foiling orphanage administrator Miss Hannigan, and finding a (fantastically wealthy) family to adopt.

The title role showcases local talent, sixth grader Charli Elliot, a student at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Catholic School in Herrin.  She’s no stranger to the stage, but she says “Annie” is her favorite so far.

Other local stage players include Herrin resident Diane Taveau as bitter Miss Hannigan, and a host of area children as orphans.  The orphan cast is: Kylie Measimer of Carbondale; Halli Bolin and Lily Jones of Carterville; Grace Arnett, Kennedy Birtcher, Erin Elliott, Jordan Elliott, and Kelsey Jurich, all of Herrin; Marcia Janelle Miller and Janaijah Nailor of Marion; Ava Barker of Mount Vernon, and Sarah Levanti of West Frankfort.

The production includes the professional Summer Playhouse actors who make the summer production season a learning tool for students and young actors.  J. Thomas Kidd, SIU Carbondale Department of Theater chair, directs the play. 

Tickets are $25 for the general public, $10 for students.  Tickets are available in advance at, by calling 618/453-6000, or in person the McLeod Theater Box Office, open weekdays from noon to 5 p.m.  Tickets are also available beginning one hour before each performance.