It’s not a hard-knock life with a cast this talented!

The Central Jersey Performing Arts Academy will be bringing its production of Annie Jr. to Trenton on Saturday, December 3rd, and Sunday, December 4th. The performance will be held at the New Jersey State Museum Auditorium, located at 205 West State St. General admission tickets retail for $25, while student, senior, and SNAP discount tickets retail for $10 with code ‘discount’. Please note that your ID, student ID, or SNAP card will need to be presented at the box office. Saturday’s performance will begin at 7 pm, and the Sunday matinee will begin at 3 pm. Tickets can be purchased online here: Tickets – Annie Jr.

Annie Jr., based on the comic strip and adapted from the Tony-award-winning Best Musical, follows the heart-warming story of Annie, a young orphan in 1930s New York City. Despite adversity, Annie’s charm and charisma warm the heart of all she encounters. The show follows Annie’s mission to find her parents who left her on the orphanage doorstep all those years ago. Miss Harrigan, the authoritarian head of the orphanage, attempts to stop Annie’s efforts at every turn. Eventually, however, Annie successfully foils Miss Hannigan’s evil plans. After making her great escape, Annie finally settles in with her new family, billionaire Oliver Warbucks, his secretary Grace Farrell, and of course her lovable dog, Sandy. From humble beginnings to her forever home, Annie will leave audiences smiling ear to ear.

This inspiring performance would not be possible without the talented students of the Central Jersey Performing Arts Academy. The Academy provides acting and vocal lessons to both youth and adult performers in the Mercer County region. Each year, the Academy produces Broadway Jr. performances to give their young artists a chance to hit the stage and develop their skills. The Academy also produces plays and musicals for adults, giving performers young and old the opportunity to take center stage.

Central Jersey Performing Arts Academy was founded by Taniel Bennett, a native of Trenton and resident of the Mercer County region. As a passionate advocate for the arts, Bennett hopes to reach the youth in and around her hometown. She has also made vocal and acting lessons more affordable to reach youth who may not otherwise have the opportunity to access these services. Regarding her passion for the arts, Bennett stated  “I remember being in a school play when I was in the 5th grade. I did so well, the principal (Mr. Hodges) of Cadwalader School came to my class to tell me he loved my performance, and I had the potential to become a star one day. I knew I was talented at a very young age, but raised by my grandmother who was very strong but barely making ends meet, there was no way she could afford to send me to an acting class. How many other talented young people in our communities that need an affordable pathway or scholarship to enhance their acting & vocal skills?”

True to that mission, since its inception the Academy has provided dozens of youth in the area the opportunity to fully participate in the arts. Through these experiences, these gifted young performers are not just given the chance to hone their skills, but are learning valuable life lessons that will carry them for a lifetime. If you’re interested in supporting these young artists, be sure to get your hands on tickets as soon as possible. If you have any questions, please contact the Central Jersey Performing Arts Academy at cjpaacademy@gmail.com or 609-218-7317. We can’t wait to see these rising stars shine!