Presented by Pelican Productions
Reviewed 23 Mar 2018
The ever-popular Annie, based on Little Orphan Annie, has been shortened and lost some of its text to allow to be performed by a youth cast and in Pelican Productions recent effort at the Arts Theatre it worked rather well. For lovers of the full-length version it is missing many of the favourite songs, but some of the best still remain.
The direction for such a large cast is no easy thing and Director Jen Frith and Musical Director Kylie Green should be congratulated; the performers were well disciplined and kept the show moving at a good pace. Choreographer Bec Schembri did marvels with such a lot of people on stage.
Taylor Schwartz, as Annie, sang very well and played her part with conviction. Her rendition of Tomorrow was lovely and a highlight was her duet, I Don’t Need Anything But You, with Henry Hasler (Daddy Warbucks). Hasler shows maturity beyond his years in this role and was one of the standouts. Eve Green was just nasty enough as Miss Hannigan, doing justice to Little Girls and making her threesome in Easy Street with Cooper James (Rooster) and Katie Lammin (Lily) a delight to watch. James in particular handled the choreography with aplomb, great timing and sense of fun. Victoria Thorp was strong in the role of Grace Farrell, if a little subdued and the stage belonged to Teddy (Sandy) anytime he showed his face.
The orphans were, of course, the stars of this show, as it should be. Hard Knock Life was full of life with multitudes of orphans on stage. An excellent number well choreographed. The lead orphans, Jade Seneca (Molly), Jacinda Tsakalos (Pepper), Charlotte Van Zuydam (Duffy), Amalia Tsakalos (Kate), Inara Lang (Tessie) and Alicia Marcoionni (July) really shone in Never Fully Dressed. The acting as well as the singing, especially of Molly, Tessie and July, impressed me.
Although the full-length version will remain my favourite, this production was fun for both the performers and their audience.
Reviewed by Fran Edwards
Venue: Arts Theatre, Angus St
Season: 23-25 March 2018
Tickets: $25 – $35