Beaches girl stars in Alhambra's 'Annie'


The Alhambra Theatre & Dining debuted its production of the popular Broadway musical “Annie” last night. Selected from an open casting call of more than 110 girls, Queen’s Harbour resident Carly Julia Barnes is one of two young actresses chosen to portray the lead role of Annie.

Barnes, who attends the Discovery School in Jacksonville Beach, is joined in the title role by Jena Simmons of Jupiter, Florida. For both girls, this will be their first appearance at the Alhambra. Simmons’ previous credits include “Les Misérables” and “The Musical Adventures of Flat Stanley Jr.” at the Maltz Jupiter Theatre. She has also appeared on “Investigation Discovery” as well as various TV commercials for companies including hhgregg, Chrysler, and Universal Studios. Although Barnes is new to live theatre, she has two short film credits for “Innocent Pact” and “Starling.”

Set in Depression-era New York City, “Annie” follows the story of a young orphan who is selected to spend one week living in the mansion of millionaire Oliver “Daddy” Warbucks. The show is based upon Harold Gray’s “Little Orphan Annie” comic strip, with music by Charles Strouse, lyrics by Martin Charnin, and book by Thomas Meehan. The original Broadway production of “Annie” opened in 1977 and ran for nearly six years. Among the musical’s most popular numbers are "Tomorrow" and "It's the Hard Knock Life.”

“Annie” will continue its run at the Alhambra through Aug. 13. Tickets start at $35 and include a three-course dinner, the show and parking. The theatre is located at 12000 Beach Blvd. in Jacksonville. For show times and details, contact the box office at (904) 641-1212 or visit