September 21, 2016

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Spillane Middle School sixth-grade student CJ Friend will play the roles of Young Mary and Janie Bailey in the Houston Grand Opera’s upcoming production of It’s a Wonderful Life. 

Sept. 21, 2016—Spillane Middle School sixth-grade student CJ Friend has been cast in the Houston Grand Opera rendition of the holiday classic, It’s a Wonderful Life, Dec. 2-17.  

Friend, an honor student at Spillane, will play the roles of Young Mary and Janie Bailey in the world premiere holiday production, which features leading composer Jake Heggie and librettist Genes Scheer. The opera is based on the classic Frank Capra film It’s a Wonderful Life.

Friendstudies musical theater at the TUTS Humphrey’s School of Musical Theater (HSMT) Academy and has performed in many theater productions around Houston including TUTS, Lone Star College, Playhouse 1960, Wildfish Theater and CAPA. She has also appeared in three Houston-area high school Tommy Tune-nominated productions—Shrek at Cypress Ranch High School (Young Fiona), Gypsy at Spring High School (Baby June) and Meet Me in St. Louis at Cypress Woods High School.

Friend will also be performing in the Cypress Woods High School production of Shrek Jr. Oct. 6-8 as Young Fiona. The show is directed by Holly Knott and Toby Drake.

Aside from studying musical theater at HSMT and training at NYC Broadway Intensives, Friend has also been recognized in her academic achievements through her memberships with Mensa, Duke TIP and Johns Hopkins Talented Youth programs.

Visit www.houstongrandopera.org for more information.

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