Stage set for Red Bank girl in ‘School of Rock’

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By MICHAEL NUNES
Staff Writer

RED BANK — A sixth grader at the Red Bank Charter School has been chosen to play the role of Britney in “School of Rock” at the Union County Performing Arts Center in Rahway.

Lily “Grace” Riddle, of the Count Basie Performing Arts Academy, is set to take on the role.

“I am most excited to be a part of the ‘School of Rock’ cast because I absolutely love all the music and the energy of the show. I think it is cool that I get to perform with a theater production company that donates part of the proceeds to charities, and it’s so much fun,” Lily said.

According to Lily’s mother, Sandy Riddle, her daughter’s love for the limelight began at an early age.

“Unbeknownst to us, Grace signed up for singing a song at a school talent show in third grade, and it blew everyone away. Many people came up to us and commented on her voice and her natural stage presence. That’s when we decided to look into singing, acting, theater classes,” she said, continuing that at the age of 10, her daughter auditioned for an “intensive” musical theater program at Count Basie Performing Arts Academy.

Lily has signed on with the Carson-Adler Talent Agency in New York. According to her mother, Lily has enjoyed many extraordinary opportunities since signing up with the talent agency.

Lily has previously performed in productions such as “God Lives in Glass” at the LaGuardia Performing Arts Center and “Dragon Trouble” with the AlphaNYC Theater Company along with other productions.

According to Riddle, even though Lily is young she still aspires to make it big.

“What Grace loves most about acting is the ability to transform herself into any character she plays and make it her own. It’s kind of like make-believe for older people she says. Her goal is to win a Tony, an Oscar and an Emmy all while keeping a straight A average in school,” she said.

The play is set to run May 20-22.

Contact Michael Nunes at mnunes@gmnews.com.