‘Annie’ is a family friendly show

 FAMILY AFFAIR — Kevin Murphy, Karla Swanson-Murphy and children, Colin and Fiona, are all taking part in the Lake Region Community Theatre’s production of “Annie.”

FAMILY AFFAIR — Kevin Murphy, Karla Swanson-Murphy and children, Colin and Fiona, are all taking part in the Lake Region Community Theatre’s production of “Annie.”

By Leigh Macmillen Hayes

Taking the description of a family-friendly play to heart is the Murphy family of Bridgton.

For them, Lake Region Community Theatre’s summer musical, Annie, is a truly a family effort.

Eleven-year-old Fiona auditioned for Annie because she had seen a performance elsewhere and liked the songs and dances. Though she wasn’t looking for a big speaking part, she was cast as Molly. She may be a bit shy off stage, but shines under the lights. Her proud father, Kevin, says, “She’s doing a great job with it. It’s a lot of fun to watch her do it.”

Karla Swanson-Murphy has loved theater forever.

“I was in shows all through high school with Dick Mayo and Jim Durrell,” she says.

Lake Region Community Theatre was originally part of the adult education program. When it formed as a separate organization to promote community-based shows, Karla was a founding member. She served as president and treasurer for many years while she produced, acted, sang and worked backstage.

In 1997, while working on Oklahoma, she was invited to sing in a Christmas program at the Casco Village Church. Because he sings tenor, Kevin was also invited to be part of the concert. It just so happened that Karla needed a tenor to play Curly in Oklahoma and she encouraged him to audition. They began dating that December. They married in 1999, and worked on a few shows along the way, including Once Upon a Mattress and The Sound of Music. If Kevin didn’t have a singing part, he’d work on sound. Both worked backstage. All that came to a halt when Fiona was born in 2003 and Colin in 2005.

The children took dance and gymnastics classes at Western Maine Dance Studio. The first time Fiona was asked to perform, she chose not to. Her dad says he was worried that she didn’t have the stage bug. Since then, however, she has been in recitals.

For Annie, her parents have joined her. Kevin plays FDR, while Karla is Perkins, one of his Cabinet members.

Nine-year-old Colin also has a role. He’ll apprentice with Greg Watkins in the light and sound booth.

“I thought it would be fun so I wouldn’t have to just sit down and do nothing,” says Colin.

Annie is based on the book by Thomas Meehan. With music by Charles Strouse and lyrics by Martin Charnin, the musical is presented through special arrangement with Music Theatre International (MTI).

The show dates are July 11 and 12 at 7:30 p.m., July 13 at 2 p.m., July 18 and 19 at 7:30 p.m. and July 20 at 2 p.m. All performances will be in the auditorium at Lake Region High School.

Major sponsors for the show are Norway Savings Bank and Hancock Lumber.

Tickets are $16 for adults and $12 for ages 12 and under. They are available at Raymond Village Florist, Krainin Real Estate in Raymond, Naples Public Library, Hayes True Value Hardware, Bridgton Public Library, Books N Things in Norway and Papa’s Floral in Fryeburg.

The Murphys are just one of several families performing in the show. Get your tickets today for this family-friendly musical.

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