AJA Doubles Up on ‘Annie’

AJA Doubles Up on ‘Annie’

Atlanta Jewish Academy is adopting America’s favorite orphan — times two.

Fifth-graders Miriam Burmenko and Sara Goldberg are sharing the title role in the day school’s dual-cast production of “Annie.” Both have years of acting, singing and dancing experience, including “Annie.”

At 7, Sara played Molly, the youngest orphan, in Theater of the Stars’ production of the show at the Fox Theater, and she reprised the role last year in the Atlanta Lyric Theater’s production. Sara has appeared in national commercials, movies and print ads, as well as several other professional musical theater productions in Atlanta.


Miriam has appeared in approximately 20 musical theater productions at the Marcus Jewish Community Center, and her roles the past five years included the orphan July. She also is incorporating her interest in Greek mythology into a play she is writing about a singing, dancing Artemis.

Q: How is AJA’s “Annie” different from the other productions you’ve been in?

Miriam: The play is the same but without the reprises and “We’d Like to Thank You, Herbert Hoover.”

Sara: Also, we took out the Christmas part.


Q: How do you like your director?

Sara: We really love Miss Sim (Simonie Levy). She doesn’t just tell you you’re wrong; she explains why she’d like you to do something differently, and she helps you do that.

Miriam: She doesn’t call all of us (to rehearsals) every time. She always makes sure that all of us in the cast are active when we’re not onstage.

Sara: We also got to become friends with a lot of kids in other grades that we wouldn’t know otherwise, so it’s more …

Miriam: Better!


Q: Favorite song in the production?

Sara: I love “Maybe.” I think it’s so beautiful.

Miriam: My favorite song is actually one I don’t sing. I really like “Easy Street.”


Q: What do you girls do while the other is playing Annie?

Miriam: We’re still performing.

Sara: When Miriam is playing Annie, I’m in the chorus, and when I’m playing Annie, she is.

Miriam: We sing solos in “NYC,” which I love.


Q: What is the best part of playing Annie?

Sara: I love how she’s so cheerful all the time.

Miriam: My favorite thing about Annie is that she’s tough. She’s not afraid to stand up for herself.

What: “Annie”

Where: AJA, 5200 Northland Drive, Sandy Springs

When: 4:15 p.m. Wednesday, March 9; 7 p.m. Thursday, March 10; and 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. Sunday, March 13.

Tickets: $10 in advance, $12 at the door; www.atljewishacademy.org/index.php/upcomingevents

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