Sunday, 31 May 2015

by Cheryl Loh Qian Wen, Junior 1 Cempaka, Class of 2016.
Photos by Lai Li Chan, Junior 2 Cempaka, Class of 2015.

They say that you're never fully dressed without a smile, and we were reminded of that through this year's Cempaka Box Office Production - Annie the Musical!




Cempaka Schools promotes the importance of mind, body and soul. All year round, we participate in a variety of events such as Interhouse Sporting competitions and Academic examinations competitions which represent the mind and body. As for the soul, one of the major events Cempaka offers is the Cempaka Box Office Production which has been an annual tradition and a part of Cempakan culture for as long as I can remember. In the past, it has even been compared to professional productions on broadway and television!


Cempaka Productions are musicals put on by talented students who go through an audition process before experiencing a two month long period of vigorous training and rehearsals, while at the same time attempting to keep up with their school work as they rehearse out of class. It may be tough to handle, and often the performers find themselves struggling to get used to spending their days not on the stage, but you can't deny that it is one of the best experiences you’ll have in school. We began with the Wizard of Oz, made our way through an array of Broadway musicals such as West Side Story, Lion King and of course, Annie The Musical.




Annie the Musical tells the story of a young girl abandoned in an orphanage home in New York City by her parents as a baby, left with nothing but a locket and a note. Choosing to believe her parents are still alive, Annie longs for her parents to come back for her as they had claimed they would. After 11 years under the care of the terrible Ms Hannigan, her luck changes as she finds herself living with none other than billionaire Mr. Warbucks himself. Determined to find her parents, she asks for the help of Mr Warbucks to assist her in her search.




Personally I’d have to say that though Annie is undoubtedly the star of the show, Miss Hannigan is probably my favorite character. Her addiction to alcohol and hilarious hatred towards the children she 'looks after' for a living truly represents the average American during the Great Depression, the era in which the story is set. Altogether Miss Hannigan is a brilliant character with a great sense of humour and a viciously sarcastic demeanor which only adds to her stage presence. It is a joy to witness her cruelly joke her way through a life where she generally seems to get nothing she wants. Also, I honestly wish we had been able to witness more Warbucks-Grace Farrell moments because of how perfect they are as a couple with Annie as their kid. In the Twitter-verse, the three of them would definitely be our family 'goals' - A billionaire married to his secretary (who may possibly be the nicest person in the world), with their adopted 10 year old girl who sings like there’s no tomorrow - despite the fact that about half her lines in the musical claim otherwise.




While Cempaka productions in the past have only been open to secondary and a few select primary students (not more than five or six), this year's Annie the Musical has extended auditions to the upper primary school as well due to the theme of the production. Understandingly, some may begin to question the professionalism and quality of this year’s musical - However, Cempakans have proven that age is no barrier stopping them from putting on an excellent comical production in the short span of a little more than a month.



Tonight is the last chance to catch this year's Cempakan Box Office Production - but even if you may have missed it, we're certain that Cempakans will continue to produce breathtaking productions that will blow your mind. Who knows - it could be you next year, rehearsing day after day, performing on that stage and having the time of your life; representing the soul of Cempaka.



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