December 24, 2014

LAPA’s “Annie Jr.” Delights Audiences This Holiday Season

Photo of cast of Annie Jr. posing on stage.

Budding Broadway actors and actresses from the Lanai Academy of Performing Arts (LAPA) danced and sang their hearts out during a special production of “Annie Jr.,” on Dec. 12, 13 and 14. Enthusiastic crowds filled the LHES cafeteria to near-full capacity at all four performances, delighting in familiar tunes such as “Tomorrow” and “Hard-Knock Life.”

“The show was a hit!” said Matt Glickstein, musical director at LAPA. “Every night, we welcomed a large crowd that cheered our kids on with love and support.”

There were so many talented young actors that Glickstein double cast several of the production’s leading roles: Madison Kaneakua Egan and Heather Robinson each played Annie; the role of Mrs. Hannigan was played by Anya Batoon and Isabel Campbell; and Rooster was played by Nik Suaglar Jr. and Nathan Amby.

The entire cast reprised their roles in an encore showing for LHES elementary and middle school students on Thursday, Dec. 18, when they entertained their classmates with upbeat group numbers, tap dances and moving solo performances. After wrapping up their last performance of the year, LAPA cast members took a trip to Maui to celebrate their hard work by watching the newly released film, “Annie.”

See these rising stars again tonight as they take the stage at The Lodge at Koele performing holiday classics with jazz singer, Brenna Whitaker, during a private Christmas Eve function. Then in March, LAPA will begin auditions for their next big production, set to open in the summer of 2015. They’ll be portraying the beloved Von Trapp Family in an abridged version of “The Sound of Music.”

LAPA wishes to thank Cory Labang, the Hawaii Community Foundation, Gail Allen, Pulama Lanai, Aunty Diane Koshi, The Maui Academy of Performing Arts, Adam Beckwith, Jamie Hale, Ross Hakoda and the LHES art students, Kenny Shimokawa, Andrea La Pierre, Denise Fernandez, Fara Omar, the Lanai community, LAPA parents and volunteers, and Lanai High and Elementary School, for their help bringing “Annie” to life. To donate and volunteer for LAPA’s next production, contact Matt Glickstein at 808-221-8926 or

Visit the LAPA website, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for photos, news and updates as they ring in the New Year and plan for their next show.

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