Our opening had President Roosevelt rolled out in his wheelchair by his secret service detail to deliver the standard warnings about exits, flash photography and cell phone use during the performance.
“They WILL take your recording device away,” threatened the actor FDR before being wheeled off the stage; the audience responded with laughter and compliance. The lights then rose on a set that contained rows of bunk beds complete with “orphans” who listened to the 6th grader playing Annie sing the opening song “Maybe.” The only threat to her remarkable performance was the walk-on part of Sandy, this time a Golden Retriever, who found the members of the orchestra pit just as interesting as the snacks in Annie’s pocket.The young elementary and middle school cast was capably abetted with stand out performances by the high school “villains,” “Daddy” Oliver Warbucks and his efficient staff. Chorus numbers were strong, and the solo performances provided a few surprises. Who knew that the geometry geek could shimmy?
March begins musical theatre season in my area, and there are other productions being offered over the next few weekends. Because of musical theatre licensing agreements, our school is the only one performing Annie this season, but there are a multitude of Annie productions throughout the country.
I like to imagine that as we are performing Annie on the East Coast, our cast is singing “Tomorrow” at the same time that the Central Time production casts are beginning with “Maybe.” As we are taking our curtain calls, the Central Time casts are singing “Tomorrow” while the Mountain Time casts are beginning with “Maybe,” while the Pacific Time casts are in make-up and costume preparing to perform. This is the season where a wave of Annie productions echoes with student voices from coast to coast: “Tomorrow…tomorrow…tomorrow…”