This year The Ordway has selected Annie as their holiday show, the story of a spunky and lovable red-headed orphan who gets to stay with an extraordinarily wealthy man over the Christmas holiday in 1933. It is hard to think of a more classic family musical than Annie, and it was thrilling to see so many families at the Ordway, enjoying live theater together. The Ordway's Annie leans into its classic history with painted backdrops and classic choreography, while still breathing new life into the show with fresh and diverse casting. Director Austene Van has found the perfect balance of nostalgia and fresh energy that is sure to make everyone enjoy the show.
The cast is comprised of a mix of local and out of town talent. Carly Gendall plays Annie and is fresh off of Broadway, those who go to matinee performances will have the pleasure of seeing Lillian Hochman. Gendall has a huge voice and it is clear that she is a professional. She is a brave and fearless leader of the group of orphans that all suffer under Miss Hannigan. The talent of all the children in the show is very obvious and their big show stopping numbers, "Its a Hard Knock Life" and my personal favorite "You’re Never Fully Dressed Without a Smile" are highlights of the show.
The rest of the cast is a pleasure to watch as well. Michele Ragusa makes it so much fun to be terrified of Miss Hannigan as she brings comedy into every move she makes. Cat Brindisi and Lily and Britton Smith as Rooster made me smile every time that they came onstage, knowing that I was going to be captivated and entertained. For anyone whose favorite Annie song is "Easy Street", you will not be disappointed. Ann Michaels as Grace radiated out the comfort that her character was to Annie, she also had some of the best costumes, designed by Aaron T. Chvatal. Last but not least Lance Roberts as Oliver Warbucks is hilarious in his awkwardness and also has a beautiful voice that can be enjoyed in songs like "Something was Missing". Also did a mention that there is an adorable dog, Marti playing Sandy? Joyful giggles could be heard all over the audience whenever the dog was on stage.
Annie at the Ordway is a pleasure to watch, and the perfect classic show to revisit with the whole family.
It is playing at the Ordway until December 31st.
For more information about the show and how to get tickets click here.
*Photos courtesy of Rich Ryan Photography