Since the age of 5, Katie Loftus has dreamed of starring as the little orphan Annie from the namesake musical.

Since the age of 5, Katie Loftus has dreamed of starring as the little orphan Annie from the namesake musical.
Now at 12 years old — and having been in two "Annie" productions — Loftus, of Townsend, finally woke up on the right side of bed; she's landed the lead role in director Dan Sanchez's production of "Annie," which kicks off at the Smyrna Opera House on Friday, Dec. 14. Show dates will run though Sunday, Dec. 16.
Written by Martin Charnin, with the book by Thomas Meehan and music by Charles Strouse, "Annie" is a Tony Award-winning musical set in the 1930s, centered around the feisty little redhead Annie who's living in a cruddy orphanage in search of her parents. The show is known for its acclaimed Broadway tunes including "It's A Hard Knock Life" and "Tomorrow."
Q What's it mean to you to play as Annie?
A It's really exciting because it's a role I've always wanted to play. This is my third time performing in "Annie" and I really think it's going to be a fun show.
Q Which other roles have you played in "Annie"?
A I've been Molly at Premiere Centre for the Arts when I was 5, and two years ago I played Tessie at New Candlelight Theatre.
Q How have things changed now that you've landed the lead role?
A It feels a little bit more of a burden because I'm in a lot more scenes and I sing a lot more songs, and I have a lot more lines; it's definitely harder than I had it before, and it's a challenge. But it's fun to do.
Q What do you like about Annie?
A I like that she's tough. But I also like that she has a sweet side. I like that she kind of resembles me, because I can be tough and I can be sweet. She's a good singer and I think that I'm not, too, bad [laughs]. But, of course, I have parents. And I also don't have red hair.
Q You'll be wearing a wig in the show?
A We might dye [my hair] for part of it and use a wig for another part of the show, because my hair needs to look curly.
Q In general, do you feel more comfortable going into the show since you've been in it twice?
A I feel like I'm up with the big guys now. The older cast members have very large roles and I feel like I'm on their level.
Q What's your favorite song in "Annie"?
A My favorite song is "Tomorrow" because I get to really show my range; and I get to belt it out, which is one of my positives.
Q What's your long-term goal as an actress and singer?
A I want to eventually make it to Philadelphia, like the Kimmel Center, and on Broadway. I actually did a camp at the Kimmel Center recently: it's called the Broadway Dreams Foundation. Camp was a great experience. It taught me so much more about acting, singing and dancing — since I'm more of an actor and singer. But it taught me a lot more about dance. And it taught me about auditioning and it had so many great skills for performers.
Q Do camp helped you to land the role of Annie?
A I actually did audition with the song we performed at the camp — so yeah [laughs].
WHAT 'Annie,' the musical
WHEN 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 14; 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 15; 2 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 16
WHERE Smyrna Opera House, 7 W. South St., Smyrna
COST $16 for adults; $35 for a family four-pack which must include two kids
INFO or 653-4236