Annie – Review

Original lyricist Martin Charnin directs this new production of the classic, Annie.  The production is at ATTPAC's Winspear through July 5th.  Click through for TC's review of Annie.

 
Hard Knocks In The Arts District:
 
Sunny_as_Sandy_and_Issie_Swickle_as_Annie_(c)_JoanMarcus
 
The latest rendition of the musical Annie at the AT&T Performing Arts Center is like watching a group of migratory birds flying in a V shaped pattern above the overflowing Trinity River-beautiful and captivating at times and disjointed and off balance at others.  Gilgamesh Taggett nearly steals the show playing the role of Oliver Warbucks.  His voice is mesmerizing during “N.Y.C.” and is just as powerful during a heartfelt “You Won’t Be an Orphan for Long”
 
Gilgamesh Taggett as Oliver Warbucks and Issie Swickle as Annie Photo By Joan Marcus
 
The noticeable difference between this version of Annie and other versions this reviewer has seen was the casting of Miss Hannigan. Instead of being a sexy, slender woman, director Martin Charnin and casting director Joy Dewing opted to give the role of Miss Hannigan to a buxom woman, played by Lynn Andrews.  Her bouncing bosoms do add to the comedy in several scenes.
 
Lynn Andrews as Miss Hannigan Photo By Joan Marcus
 
One of the more disappointing performances came from Garrett Deagon, who played Rooster Hannigan. He seemed to be holding back and not playing the character to its full comedic potential. The secondary antagonist was not believable at all and missed a key moment when dressing up as Annie’s Dad.  The other poor performance didn’t come from a human actor; rather it was the dog Sandy that lacked energy.  William Berloni, a known animal trainer on Broadway, did not have this theatrical animal up to par.
 
Technical merits need to be given to Beowulf Boritt, who did a terrific job with the scenic design.  It was one of the better sets from touring productions of Annie that I’ve seen.  The sound was way too quiet at times, and the lighting had a major miscue.  When Annie was singing the reprise of “Maybe” the spotlight failed to follow her.  Lighting designer Ken Billington needs to get his crew in gear.
 
 
One exciting twist to this production of Annie is that tomorrow’s performance will be entirely in Spanish. Esto es infernal indeed!
 
ANNIE is the first show to participate in BROADWAY EN ESPAÑOL.  Additional Broadway shows to be featured in the program will be announced in the coming months.Ticket buyers wishing to listen to ANNIE in Spanish, available at the June 28, 7:30 p.m. performance only, are able to check out listening devices in the lobby of the Winspear Opera House prior to the performance.  There is no charge to borrow the devices and no reservation is necessary.
 
For more information on the show please go, here.
 
And for a little flashback fun!!