Local girl lands dream role; meets state officials
Schuylkill County 11-year-old Reiley Lonergan saw her dream of being Little Orphan Annie come true when she was chosen out of over 100 young girls to play the lead role in the Broadway hit-show Annie, which ran for three weeks at the Whitaker Center in Harrisburg.
Reilly, who traveled back and forth to Harrisburg four to five times a week for rehearsals, visited many historical sites while in Harrisburg. Among her many opportunities was touring the Capitol building where she met privately with Sen. David Argall of Tamaqua. Also on Reiley's schedule that day was meeting Gov. Ed Rendell. Like Annie, Reiley is a very optimistic and hopeful young child, who always finds the good in situations.
A fifth-grade honor roll student at St. Nicholas Ukrainian Catholic School, Reiley studies in New York City for voice, acting and dance. Her voice teacher is Bradley Dean who is a Pottsville Area High School graduate. Dean, who has appeared in many Broadway shows, is currently a cast member of A Little Night Music, which features Angela Lansbury and Catherine Zeta-Jones.
Just a week after finishing her three-week run as Annie, Reiley who aspires to be on Broadway was cast as an Advanced Triple Threat kid in a show to be released Dec. 28 of this year. Filming took place in New York City.
Some of Reiley's previous credentials include print modeling as well as a commercial for Panasonic Camcorders. Prior to getting the title role of Annie, Reiley had performed in only one play, as she played the youngest Von Trapp child in The Sound of Music under the direction of Victor Boris with the Anthracite Citizens Theatre.
Reiley has been the host of two benefit concerts at the Sovereign Majestic Theater in Pottsville and is a guest performer at many community events. Reiley's musical CD Childhood Favorites featuring mainly Broadway songs including the well-known Tomorrow from Annie will be released this month.
Locally, Reiley is a member of the Pottsville GTC Performing Arts: Lil' Bits of Broadway Program. Reiley will once again perform with that group as her next performance will be in A Broadway Christmas, to be held Dec. 13 at the Sovereign Majestic Theater. The show will feature 50 of the area's top youth singers including youngsters from Schuylkill, Carbon and Luzerne counties.