"...Everyone Is Entitled To My Opinion." ~Madonna

Thursday, July 7, 2011

THEATER REVIEW: Annie

 (Editor's note:  while Annie is no longer playing, Pat wanted to put the review online to kick-off Millbrook's season.  The Buddy Holly Story opens this week.)

Ali Kresch, Tiffany Green, Whitney Brown, Rachel Covey, David Raposo,
George Baumer, Lawrence Lescher. 
Photo courtesy of Erika Courtney
Millbrook Playhouse in Mill Hall opened the 2011 summer season with the family friendly Annie to a packed house. This is the forty-eighth season for this true summer stock theatre and it appears that this may be their best season yet.

The story of the eleven year-old orphan, who has been searching for her parents, but finds Daddy Warbucks and the dog Sandy instead, is a familiar one. Director/ Choreographer Stefanie Sertich has given us a pure translation of the story featuring an extremely talented cast.

Orphans:  Emma Heid, Katelyn Boyd, Katheleen Simander, Olivia Hanna,
Rachel Covey, Aimee Hunsinger, Amanda Hibbler, Emma Rohan, Kali Haines.
Photo courtesy of Erika Courtney.
Rachel Covey as Annie was delightful. Miss Covey already has an impressive professional biography and her experience showed. There are not many scenes in the play that these young shoulders don’t carry. I believed that it was her optimism that gave FDR the idea for The New Deal.

Oliver Warbucks was played with moneyed charm by Lawrence Lesher. Mr. Lesher has good voice and good stage presence; I hope that we see more of him. Tiffany Green was under used as the secretary, Grace Farrell. Ms Green did a commendable job, warm and efficient, but we never got a chance to hear her belt out with that terrific voice.
Easy Street:
Ali Kresch, Whitney Brown, David Raposo.
Photos Courtesy of Erika Courtney

The absolute show stopper for me was the number “Easy Street”. Miss Hannigan, her brother Rooster, and his friend Lily were played by Ali Kresch, David Raposo, and Whitney Brown respectively and they almost literally tore up the stage.

Miss Kresch is a veteran Millbrook player and one of my personal favorites. The role of Miss Hannigan showed her range as a performer to perfection. This was David Raposo’s Millbrook debut and I can not wait to see him later in the summer in other roles. To fully appreciate Whitney Brown’s performance, you have to see what an attractive woman she is in real life.

One of the important things to me at an opening show is checking the ensemble cast. These are the people we can expect to see in the future. The ensemble numbers were well directed, well choreographed and busting with individual talent. My pick this year as “the actor to keep your eye” on is Samuel Benedict, who played several small roles, but it was his Bert Healy that high lighted his possibilities.

Cute Molly:  Emma Heid, James David Larson.
Photo Courtesy of Erika Courtney
Jacob as the very well behaved Sandy also deserves special recognition.

Annie runs June 29 through July 3. Opening June 30th in the Cabaret will be Love, Sex, and the IRS. Next on the Main Stage will be The Buddy Holly Story. Think about adding Millbrook Playhouse to your summer theatre schedule.

2 comments:

  1. Annie is so fun too bad it's over I was Duffy and it was so awesome to bad it had to end I loved Rachel and ali she was so nice if you have a chance to be in it you should do it it is so cool

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  2. I luv you Aimee!!!

    ReplyDelete