Orphans, a billionaire and a lot of singing and dancing, By Keri Rand Wantage The auditorium is filled with the familiar sounds of a classic Broadway show as rehearsals for “Annie” take center stage at High Point High. “It’s a Hard Knock Life” and “Tomorrow” drift through the auditorium. Annie has come to Wantage. Cast and crew are putting the finishing touches on costumes and set pieces, refining dance steps and clarifying lines and music before Annie opens on Friday, April 3 at 7 p.m. in the school’s auditorium. “I have waited 16 years to direct Annie,” said Theresa Riccardi. “It has a great book, great music, great choreography. It was the right year to do it.” For those who don’t know: “Annie” is the story of an 11-year-old orphan who wants to find the parents who left her behind. Agatha Hannigan is the cruel matron who punishes rather than cares for Annie and the other orphans. Annie’s luck changes when billionaire Oliver Warbucks decides to house an orphan for two weeks of the Christmas season. What Warbucks does not expect is to become attached to Annie, but Miss Hannigan has other plans. Created from the long-running comic strip Little Orphan Annie, the show was a hit when it first opened on Broadway back in 1977. A film version included Carol Burnett in the role of Miss Hannigan. At High Point High, the musical showcases a broad range of talent from freshmen to seniors. “We have a great mix of new and veteran performers,” said Riccardi, the production’s director. Freshman Amanda Stillings plays the title role of the lovable red-haired orphan, Annie. Senior Fehmi Yasin plays Oliver Warbucks, the billionaire with a big heart. Sophomore Kelly Wittrien plays Grace, his kind secretary. Senior Monica Hahn plays Miss Hannigan. Senior Jamie Lesch and junior Matt Ciuffitelli play Lily and Rooster, the conniving conspirators. The adorable band of orphans are played by: freshmen Alexis Arocha, Kyung-Sun Lee and Jamie Stapel, sophomores Kelly Osborne, Carrie Orinski and junior Danielle Litrenta. See the show Annie opens Friday, April 3 at 7 p.m. Performances will also be held Saturday, April 4 at 7 p.m. and Sunday, April 5 at 2 p.m. Tickets are $8 for adults and $6 for students, children and senior citizens. To reserve tickets call 973-875-3103 ext. 3680. Tickets are selling out fast!