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REVIEWS

Annie Warbucks, by Thomas Meehan, music by Charles Strouse, lyrics by Martin Charnin
Actors save the show
Monday, December 12, 2005
3.0
I don't know why I chose ,"ANNIE WARBUCKS" as the first production I went to in Georgia, but I did. What I saw was a show with no apparant direction, no real lighting, no impressive set, and no continuity. Why then would I give this show a 3? The show has heart, and some stand out performers. It also had heart, which some shows (no matter how slick( lack these days. I really got the impression that Hannah Wilkinson (Annie) loved being on stage. This made her a delight to watch. Her voice was extremely impressive, as well as her personality. The highlite of this show are the characters of Doyle and Kelly, played with relish and incredible timing. Their names aren't on the site here, and I accidently left my program behind. he show is worth seeing for them alone. They both have nailed the characters, and work extremely well off each other. The servants lacked charm, except the butler (I believe that to be Crake, Jared Foster)who was fun to watch. The other two to keep an eye on are Warbucks (Rob Hardie)and Grace (Amanda Leigh Pickard). Two actors that you actually believe are in love. Real chemistry is hard to find, but amidst a hokey book, they found it. Her voice is exquisite, and she plays the character as well as I have seen. Warbucks, though short in height, makes up for it with bravado and a comic timing I haven't seen in the role. Both seemed near tears in their solos, which made them very moving. I would have liked to see both show Annie more affection, but that is a minor flaw.

The problem is that it looks like nothing is completely thought through in this show. The Warbucks mansion looks exactly like the White House (and every other location). The scene changes take over 5 minutes as well. And the director doubles as the villain, and does so poorly. The FDR character is weak and unbelievable. The orphans are cute, and great to watch, but look confused and uncomfortable. The costumes are fairly nice, but no real stand outs. The Hillbilly family scene is very slow as well. Though the woman has a great voice. So, we arrive at a three. My guess is that your kids (who the show is for) will enjoy it well, and so you probably won't regret taking them. And I am intrigued enough to visit the theater again.

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