Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Review of Annie (Broadway in Chicago)

Once upon a time I went to a show and it was called Annie. It was directed by Martin Charnin and the book was by Thomas Meehan. The music was written by Charles Strouse and the lyrics were by Martin Charnin. It was choreographed by Liza Gennaro and the music direction was by Keith Levenson. It was about a girl named Annie (Issie Swickle) who was an orphan and she lived in an orphanage. But the head of the orphanage, Miss Hannigan (Lynn Andrews), was very mean to everyone. But then Oliver Warbucks (Gilgamesh Taggett), who is a billionaire, wants to take an orphan in and care for it for the next two weeks. When his secretary Grace Farrell (Ashley Edler) goes and chooses Annie to come and stay with them, Miss Hannigan was not happy. Then they decide to go look for her parents, with the help of President Roosevelt (Allan Baker), the entire government, a radio show, and Daddy Warbucks. I thought that this was a fun show. Everyone loves the songs and I thought it was clever and fun.

The show was very clever because of some of my favorite moments, like how whenever someone would say we need "a new…" and then it would be something different which is not a new deal. You expect that President Roosevelt is going to say "a new deal" because that is one of his famous phrases, but then it takes a super long time, until basically the end of the scene! Another clever line was the one where Miss Hannigan said, "Next thing you know they'll make this into a musical!" And they already have! And she's in it! And then the entire audience was laughing so hard. So, I thought that was pretty funny. I thought the entire radio scene was basically super clever. Like they had a puppet announcer (Brian Cowing), but of course you can't see a puppet announcer through a radio, so that was silly. I also thought the Boylan sisters (Lily Emilia Smith, Meghan Seaman, and Hannah Slabaugh) were pretty funny because they were doing all these dance moves that are supposed to be super cool and awesome, but no one can see them of course. And also they had a masked announcer (Todd Fenstermaker), which I thought was pretty funny because no one could see he had a mask on! And the tap dancing was also very funny, because they just used tap shoes not on Bert Healy's (Cameron Mitchell Bell) actual feet. They just tapped on a foley board with the foley guy's (John Cormier) hands. I also thought that the dog (Sunny, trained by William Berloni) was super adorable and clever because he would go from the middle of the stage and then go back and then come back out and he would just follow directions perfectly. It was amazing!

I thought that all the orphans were really awesome at something. Like Molly (Lilly Mae Stewart) was a really great actress. Duffy (Isabel Wallach), July (Angelina Carballo), and Pepper (Adia Dant) were amazing dancers. Kate (Sydney Shuck) and Annie were really great singers. Tessie (LillyBea Ireland) was very funny. Everyone loves the song "Hard Knock Life," and it is still going through my head today. I thought the choreography was really great because it was kind of like the cup song: they moved around the buckets to the tempo of the music. I thought that was really awesome.

I really liked Miss Hannigan; she is so evil but in such a funny way. Then also I really liked the song "Little Girls" because it seemed true that little girls could seem very very annoying. But also I don't think you should twist off their necks just because they are being annoying. I also thought that her costumes (by Suzy Benzinger) were really great because they seemed like her so much, like she was trying to be sexy and totally failing. They would have short skits and all, but the rest would be kind of ragged. I really liked the song "Easy Street" too. I've heard that phrase before, and I think that is where Miss Hannigan needs to go, but she has to earn it, not just go and kill little girls for their money. I really liked the dance. It was just so funny and so silly, like how the Rooster (Garrett Deagon) and his girlfriend Lily (Lucy Werner) were saying "Annie is the key!" and then suddenly Miss Hannigan just starts shaking her butt at the audience like an insane person.

My favorite scene was the oval office scene. I really liked President Roosevelt. I thought he was very funny. And then Annie comes in and wants to meet him so bad. And then she starts singing. And because he heard her sing on the radio, that made sense. And then my favorite part of it was how President Roosevelt was like, "All of you sing!" and then one of them, Ickes (Cormier), was like, "No, I won't sing" but then he finally does. But then by the end of it the guy who was like "I'm not going to sing" then is on his knees on the floor and his arms are spread out and he has a giant smile on his face and he is still singing. And I think that that was just super super funny.

People who would like this show are people who like awesome dogs, Franklin Roosevelt, and Easy Street. I think that people should go see this show. I had a lot of fun and the songs will be going through your head for a long time!

Photos: Joan Marcus

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