HEART’s ‘Annie’ Musical Finds A July Home On Paliku Stage

Annie (Aulani Oka) and her dog Sandy (aka Sophie) co-star in HEART’s musical, opening July 20 at Paliku Theatre. Photo from Pamela DeBoard.


The Hawaii Education of the ARTS troupe is readying its 10th annual summer musical, Annie, for the stage July 20-28 with Kailua’s Aulani Oka, 12, in the title role at Paliku Theatre.

Playing loyal sidekick Sandy to the Kamehameha Middle School eighth-grader is Sophie, a 3-year-old golden retriever. Off stage, Sophie is a Hawaii Fi-Do service dog and therapy dog who cheers up patients at Castle Medical Center as well as special education children at Kailua and Kaneohe elementary schools.

“It has been such a joy to see this cast grow and shape into their characters at a remarkably fast pace,” said director Megan DeBoard. “They’ve all become very close, from the oldest high school senior to the littlest orphan, and I think those friendships and connections show in their performance.”

Annie is a spunky Depression-era orphan determined to find her parents, who abandoned her years ago on the doorstep of a New York City orphanage. She breaks free from the orphanage’s cruel and embittered supervisor, Miss Hannigan, with the help of friends, her dog Sandy and her own optimistic determination, finally finding a home with mogul Oliver Warbucks.

A popular Broadway musical based on Harold Gray’s popular Little Orphan Annie comic strip, Annie has won seven Tony Awards including Best Musical and Best Score, including Tomorrow, Hard Knock Life, N.Y.C., Easy Street and You’re Never Fully Dressed Without a Smile.

Directing the music is Sally Greenleaf.

The curtain goes up at 7 p.m. July 20, 26 and 27, and 1 and 7 p.m. July 21 and 28. Tickets are on sale now for $10-$20 from Showtix4u.com.