Solehi was nominated for seven awards including Outstanding Overall Production and Outstanding Stage Crew. One member of that crew, junior Alyssa Slifer, also doubled as an animal wrangler.
Slifer trained her family pet, Kiara, to play Annie’s dog, Sandy, in the show. This involved a generous amount of treats and some re-staging to get Kiara by the orchestra’s tuba that the dog found frightening.
Eventually, Kiara got so comfortable on stage, in one scene she rolled over for a belly rub, according to Silfer’s mother, Janet.
Kiara will be on stage tonight, too, at the Freddy Awards next to Casey McGinty, the Southern Lehigh junior who played the title role in Annie. The awards show will be broadcast live by WFMZ tonight at 7 p.m.
Among the nominees, senior Tony Zitta got the nod for Outstanding Featured Performance by an Actor. Likewise, senior Devon Knox got nominated for Outstanding Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role.
Zitta and Knox, along with Alyssa Lorin Lowry also were nominated for Outstanding Small Ensemble Performance.
Solehi also got nominations for Outstanding Lighting and Outstanding Chorus.