When Julia Dale was 10, she belted out the The Star Spangled Banner at the 2011 NBA Finals between the Miami Heat and the Dallas Mavericks.
Over the next two years, she sang the national anthem at the home games of the Heats championship series, earning her the title of the teams good-luck charm.
Now, Dale, 12, is adding professional actress to her credits, as she makes her regional theater debut in Ruthless! The Musical at Actors Playhouse at the Miracle Theatre in Coral Gables. The show opens at 8 p.m. Wednesday.
I am excited to be part of this play and show the audience Tina, a little girl that would do anything to do what she loves, said Dale, with a high ponytail, a big bow, a little skirt, ruffled lace socks and tap shoes she uses to rehearse her part as Tina Denmark, a song-and-dance third grader and the main character of the production.
Dale is a seventh grader at Indian Ridge Middle School in Davie. After school, she heads to rehearsals.
She said she hopes to continue pursuing her dream of being a performer, whether its through singing, dancing or acting. Prior to Actors Playhouse, she starred in Annie and Madelines Christmas for The Performance Project Theater Co., and played Grizabella in Cats.
I definitely plan to do a lot while Im here in this world, Dale said. I plan to do theatre, be on TV and sing professionally, basically anything that has to do with performing.
David Arisco, artistic director of Actors Playhouse for the past 26 years, said casting is key.
I asked myself how you pull off this show without a young star-to-be in the role of adorable, devilish Tina Denmark, Arisco said. Well, then came along Julia Dale singing the national anthem during the Miami Heat championship series, and we found our star. Add five virtuoso, comedic and singing adult actors, and youve got the funniest play youll ever see.
Amy Miller Brennan, a theatre teacher at American Heritage Schools Boca Delray campus, plays Judy Denmark, Tina Denmarks mother, who suffers from multiple personality disorder.
I just couldnt pass on this role about a woman who discovered something about herself and then fulfills that, and then realizes maybe she longs for what she had, said Brennan, who is both an actress and full-time teacher.
The play has a variety of songs, including Born to Entertain, which will be sung by Dale, I Hate Musicals and It Will Never Be That Way Again.
After witnessing the explosion of reality TV, Arisco was inspired to bring Ruthless! The Musical to South Florida, to mock the entertainment industry and parents who would do anything to have a child star.
After hearing last year that Here Comes Honey Boo Boo, Toddlers and Tiaras and Dance Moms were taking over the television universe, all I could think of was doing the funniest, craziest, inside show-biz musical Ive ever seen, Ruthless! The Musical, Arisco chuckled.
The audience will definitely be at the edge of their seats, she said.