Isabeli Araneta Elizalde Takes The Stage As Resorts World Manila’s ANNIE

Spunky 10-year-old Isabeli Araneta Elizalde is a go getter. It showed when she went through a difficult audition process to bag the lead role of Annie in Resorts World Manila’s (RWM) staging of the beloved classic where she outperformed over 400 girls who tried out for the part.

“I was a bit nervous when I was about to perform because there was a line. When it was my turn to audition, I was like, “Oh my gosh, it’s me next!” Isabeli shared. Jitters aside, she took the challenge head on and similar to the character she’s about to portray, Isabeli kept her spirits up throughout the process and spent her time well. “Waiting in that room for a really long time gave me the chance to make a lot of friends,” she said.

Coming from a prominent family, this little girl is, in every sense, a modern day princess. With her father Juan Elizalde’s side involved in business and her mother Bianca Araneta’s side stock full of talented artists. “Definitely acting is in her blood,” her mom Bianca says. With titos and titas, grandaunts and granduncles having successful careers in the entertainment business, it was not a question of how but when Isabeli would finally find her way into the industry.

Bianca likewise shared how proud she was of her daughter in finding her niche in stage acting at an early age, a standard set by Isabeli’s great grandfather, Filipino actor Armando Goyena. “There’s nothing like doing stage. To him, that was a testament of a good actor, because there’s no room for error. And that always resonated with me,” Bianca recalled.

Although big things are expected of Isabeli, she’s still just a kid enjoying what she loves doing most. “I like my music subject because we get to play different musical instruments. Right now we’re singing, so I like that a lot.” Apparently, it was at school where teachers took notice of Isabeli’s gift. One instructor in particular, multi-awarded the spian Caisa Borromeo, who is also part of the production, went out of her way to take Isabeli under her wing.

The mentorship paid off as Isabeli ended up earning the lead part of Mary Lennox in Repertory Philippines’ The Secret Garden (2015), a role she unfortunately had to turn down because of her priorities in school.

As far as blessings in disguise are concerned, the setback simply polished and poised Isabeli for an even better opportunity, to debut with on a bigger stage and a role that fits perfectly with her personality. “I love that I got to be Annie because she’s always happy, she’s always hopeful… I just like her. I like her songs, I like her role,” Isabeli shared.

It’s hard not to be smitten by this cute mestiza. With her bright eyes and infectious smile, Isabeli simply radiates with a positive charm. She can no doubt light up a room with her presence.

There’s no doubt that this little girl has what it takes to make it big and we’ll certainly be keeping our eyes on her as she takes the step from adolescent to thespian. But Isabeli is taking it in stride and just enjoying the ride. “I’m really happy that I’ve gone so far, that I’ve made it this far, and that now, I am Annie. Now I’m part of the play!”

ANNIE is the seventh musical production from RWM opening on September 30, 2016. The musical is presented through Full House Theater Company and Ultimate Shows, Inc. in cooperation with MTI New York.

Visit www.rwmanila.com or call the Tourist/Visitor Hotline at (632) 908-8833 for more news on ANNIE.

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