This ‘Annie’ orphan is all grown up

In 2001, 7-year-old Vanessa Brown played her very first stage role: one of the orphans in the Children’s Musical Theaterworks production of “Annie,” directed by Joel Abels.

In 2017, 21-year-old Vanessa Brown was in the audience to see the newest CMT production of “Annie,” thanks to — get this — free tickets won by her mother, Pat, from The Munro Review.

I asked mom to take a photo of her grown-up daughter at the performance so we could juxtapose then-and-now pics. All together now: Awwwww …

(The earlier photo shows the young Vanessa, left, with her friend Olivia Haagensen.)

Vanessa Brown went on to perform in or crew almost 20 CMT shows.

The Browns say they thoroughly enjoyed the show.


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Covering the arts online in the central San Joaquin Valley and beyond. Lover of theater, classical music, visual arts, the literary arts and all creative endeavors. Former Fresno Bee arts critic and columnist. Graduate of Columbia University and Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. Excited to be exploring the new world of arts journalism.

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  • Anna


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