'Annie' launches troupe; Debut is January 17.

AuthorRoberge, Amanda

Byline: Amanda Roberge

LEOMINSTER -- Kelly and John Bubello created the Crescendo Theatre Company in their Leominster living room, with big dreams and a little bit of melancholy for the woman who would have appreciated their first production -- the long-loved musical "Annie'' -- most of all.

A portion of the ticket sales for the show, which will hit the stage Jan. 17-19 at Sullivan Auditorium at Worcester State University, will go toward a scholarship in memory of Ms. Bubello's grandmother, Connie Charette of Leominster, who died in August and suffered from Alzheimer's disease.

"I took care of her for her last years, but she took care of me during my first years,'' said Ms. Bubello, whose father, Patrick Flanagan, died when she was very young.

"We are doing a production of 'Annie' because it was one of her favorites to sing with me as a young child.''

Mr. Bubello will star in the show as Daddy Warbucks alongside Isabella Binici as Annie, and it isn't the first time the two have shared the stage. The pair joined the Westboro Players last year as Warbucks and the youngest orphan, Molly, but their chemistry onstage was perhaps a harbinger.

"I thought at the time if we ever had a chance to play Warbucks and Annie that the synergy would really be there, and a year later, here we are!'' he said. He added that their fun-loving number, "I Don't Need Anything But You,'' is his favorite.

According to Ms. Bubello, the audience is in for a treat when it comes to the show, owing to Ms. Binici's "star power'' and her ability to "light up a room like no one I've ever seen.'' Along with six other talented children, she brings the character and the story to life.

"We kept the ensemble small intentionally,'' she said, adding that many of the adult actors play up to five characters -- which sets into motion a backstage atmosphere of controlled chaos. But they wouldn't have it any other...

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