"Annie" director, and Theatre 29 veteran Kathryn Ferguson chats with audience members before the beginning of the show.

TWENTYNINE PALMS — A very nearly full house took in opening night for “Annie” the latest musical production at Theatre 29, and helped the Yucca Valley Rotary Club raise money for local charities.

Some 90 tickets were sold to the opening night gala for the Kathryn Ferguson-directed family musical Friday, Nov. 23, at the theater on Sullivan Road and Adobe Road.

Between ticket sales, a silent auction and a drawing for a Christmas tree festooned with $770 worth of gift cards, which was won by Theatre 29 supporter Doug Peercy, the evening netted the Rotary Club some $2,200.

Dreams For Kids, an effort by the Basin Wide Foundation to provide Christmas presents to children in Child Protective Services, will benefit from some of those funds, organizer Patti Brown, herself a Theatre 29 veteran, said.

The club  has also committed to giving Mara’s Christmas Wish, the annual Christmas dinner and toy and clothing giveaway started by Mara Cantelo, $1,500.

Theatre goers feasted on grilled cheese sandwiches and warm tomato soup before the show and enjoyed cake and cookies for dessert during intermission.

They got the chance to chat with Ferguson and meet cast members after the evening’s final bow.

“Annie,” features Carly Bateman in the title role and Theatre 29 veteran actor and director Charles Harvey as Daddy Warbucks.

The cast also includes Theatre 29 veteran Char Childs as Miss Hannigan and Chris and Katie Fleischman as a pair of grifters who hope to help Hannigan take advantage of Annie’s search for her parents.

The cast also features Groves Cabin Theatre regular Dave Jessup as President Franklin Roosevelt.

The musical will continue at Theatre 29 for three more weekends, with performances at 7 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 2:30 p.m. Sundays.

For tickets go online to www.theatre29.org or call the box office at (760) 361-4151.

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