Members of the community who come out to enjoy the annual Read Across America Night at Western Wayne’s RDW Elementary School on Thursday, February 28, will surely leave smiling from ear to ear. As the character, radio announcer, Bert Healy sings in the musical Annie, “You are never fully dressed without a smile.”

Western Wayne Middle and High School musical students will perform excerpts from their upcoming spring production of Annie as a part of the entertainment at Read Across America Night. The event will kick-off at 4:45 p.m. and is free to the public. Kids of all ages can enjoy a variety of activities in celebration of Dr. Seuss’ birthday.

There will also be a Book Fair at the event hosted by the PTA, and attendees can meet The Cat and Hat along with Thing One and Thing Two.

From 4:45 to 5:30 p.m. guests can tour the RDW building and stop in classrooms to hear stories read by RDW staff and friends. Starting at 5:30 through 6 p.m., there will be a concession stand open with hot dogs, drinks, and snacks for sale.

Then at 6 p.m., Annie cast members will perform. Eighth grade student Amanda David who plays the title role will sing “Tomorrow.” R.J. Clemens, who plays Daddy Warbucks will sing the ballad “Something was Missing.” Amanda and R.J. will perform the upbeat “I Don’t Need Anything But You.”

Other numbers to be sung include “Easy Street” by Lily Visceglia, who plays the flashy Lily St. Regis; Sydney Peet, who plays the notorious Miss Hannigan; and John Nichols, who plays the sly Rooster Hannigan. In addition, junior Honour Shaffer, who plays Bert Healy, will perform “You’re Never Fully Dressed Without a Smile” with assistance from the lovely Boylan sisters played by Maddie Kapschull, Rhonda Fenkner, and Anya Burgerhoff.

The students are excited to entertain the audience at RDW on Thursday evening as their debut performance of portions of the show they have been working on since December.

“This is my fourth year performing at RDW for Dr. Seuss Night,” R.J. Clemens, who is the president of the Drama Club and a five-year musical cast member, said. “I love going out into the community and sharing what we have been working to create. I like seeing all of the students in attendance enjoy it.”

Fellow cast mate, sophomore Lily Visceglia, who serves as Drama Club secretary and is a three-year musical cast member, agrees that performing at RDW is an experience that she looks forward to.

“It’s fun to play different parts each year and to get to meet all of the younger students in attendance,” Lily explained. “I think that our performance at Seuss Night inspires younger students to want to join the shows in future years.”

The Western Wayne community cordially invites the public to come and enjoy Read Across America Night on Thursday, February 28, at the RDW Elementary School, a free evening of entertainment and events perfect for kids of all ages.

The public can also look forward to the upcoming Annie Character Breakfast on Saturday, April 6, at 10 a.m. in the High School cafeteria. Tickets are $10 for adults and $8 for kids and senior citizens.

In addition, you can also mark your calendar with the dates for our performances of Annie at Western Wayne High School’s Veterans Memorial Auditorium on Friday, April 26, at 7 p.m.; Saturday, April 27 at 7 p.m.; and Sunday, April 28 at 3 p.m. Tickets are $5 for adults, $3 for senior citizens and students, and Western Wayne students are free with a student ID.