by Paula Citron
The musical Annie, based on the comic strip “Little Orphan Annie”, is celebrating its 30th anniversary with a North American tour. Whenever you put kids and animals on stage, you are guaranteed a hit. Annie (played by Marissa O’Donnell) and her orphan friends are terminally cute, while every appearance by the adorable dog Sandy gets the requisite ooohs and ahs.
The plot may be slight, but the Stouse/Charnin songs are tuneful indeed, and
this cast is certainly not paint by numbers. Conrad John Schuck plays the billionaire Warbucks with both humour and sensitivity. Alene Robertson’s evil Miss Hannigan is a shared joke with the audience, while feisty 12-year-old O’Donnell can certainly belt out a tune.
All in all, this production of Annie is a good example that if nothing is broken, don’t fix it. It’s faithful to the Broadway original which is why it succeeds. Annie is clearly a musical that is timeless.
Annie continues until Sunday.
From the Hummingbird Centre, I’m Paula Citron, arts reviewer for CLASSICAL 96.3 FM.