I entered the Orpheum Theater without any prior knowledge to the show Annie other than that it has the iconic number “Tomorrow” and Annie’s red dress. I expected the show to be a family-friendly festival of cuteness. It was. The classic story follows an 11-year old orphan named Annie who lives in an orphanage with seven other children who all suffer under the evil Miss Hannigan. She is “adopted” by a rich billionaire for two weeks and goes to live with him. The two bond and soon become their own little family. This production was a fun and cute performance that anyone can enjoy.
Most of the actors in this show were very talented. The only actors that didn’t click with me were Garret Deagon and Lucy Werner who played the annoying and unnecessary roles of Rooster Hannigan and Lily. Another group that I did not like were the orphans. They all had shrill, sinusy, pre-pubescent voices that thoroughly irritated me. Outside of their singing though, they were pretty good dancer and decent actors. Annie also had the same sinusy voice but was able to demonstrate that she could skillfully control it. I was initially annoyed by her vocal qualities but over the course of the show I actually began to like it.
One performance that really stood out was Lynn Andrews who portrayed Miss Hannigan. She manipulated her voice and body language to show the two sides of Miss Hannigan, the side she presents to the world and her true, evil side. Andrews brought vast amounts of energy to the stage and elevated any scene that she was in. Her singing was full and wholesome and filled the entire theater. Her dancing was good and was heavily supportive of her character choices. Andrews was the most valuable actor for this performance and was truly interesting to watch. I hope that she continues with acting and look forward to seeing her on stage again.
On a positive note, the ensemble was so good that I really noticed them when they were on stage and was sad when they were off. Whether they were homeless residents of a Hooverville, the hired help of Mr Warbucks or FDR and his cabinet they were always shining. They were always in the moment and kept every scene looking nice and proper. There was not an extensive amount of dancing for the ensemble but when there was they rocked it.
Overall Annie is a fun, classic musical that is a good time for any age. It features phenomenal acting and singing by the cast who tell a great tale about family. The technical elements, though pretty average, help to illustrate the story. Annie is playing at the Orpheum Theater through April 5th. I would recommend this performance to anyone who wants to see a sweet, feel-good performance. 8/10.