Top of the Morning, July 16, 2014

Top of the Morning, July 16, 2014

Just because she has hit the big time doesn't mean 14-year-old Alora Rent can skip household chores.

"The consequences would be painful," she said.

With nimble feet, a terrific voice and a level head — not to mention musically gifted parents — it's easy to see why Alora landed the lead role in "Annie," the Urbana Park District Youth Summer Theater production that runs July 30 to Aug. 2 at Urbana High School's Cobb Auditorium.

Even without curly red hair.

"I'm glad I get to be different. It's not about what the person looks like," Alora said. "It's about who they are and the message she's trying to get out: That there's hope for a brighter day."

"Annie" definitely is Alora's biggest gig in her 10-year singing career. If she needed a reminder, an MTD bus delivered it.

"It's scary because my face is everywhere: newspapers, posters, even on the back of a bus," she said. "My aunt saw it, took a picture and sent it to my mom. I was speechless."

Which is rare.

The effervescent freshman-to-be at Urbana High sings nonstop: "In the shower, in my room, at the mall, at church, with my sister." She plays violin, guitar, piano, volleyball and tennis. She dances, loves books and dreams of becoming a doctor or lawyer — if this Broadway thing doesn't work out.

"I'm very nervous and excited," said Alora, one of about 90 locals ages 6-18 involved in "Annie." "It's definitely the biggest thing I've ever done."

Sneak peek

The public is invited to listen in as cast members perform selections from "Annie" from 10:45 a.m. to noon Saturday at the Market at the Square in Urbana.

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