'Annie' adaptation maintains musical's charm
Junior academy restores red-headed theater star
During a performance of Annie, campus sophomore Madison Dooley, right, dances with eight-year-old Sydney Fox who portrays Annie in the California Arts Academy's production.
The stage of Annie darkened, and original songs from the 1977 musical reverberated throughout the theater. After a few minutes, the lights illuminated the cast of orphan girls asleep in their beds ? all except for the curly, red-headed Annie.
The California Arts Academy presents junior performances of Annie, directed by Daniel Chavez, Jr. Although the play strays from the musical's script on occasion, the young cast maintains the charm of the beloved Annie for audiences of all ages.
The orphan girls and Annie (played by eight-year-old Sydney Fox) commence the show with two trademark show tunes, "Maybe" and "Hard-Knock Life." After thinking to herself throughout the night, Annie decides to run away from the orphanage and search for her parents.
Her escape comes to an abrupt halt, however, when Miss Hannigan, the orphanage keeper, catches her in action. As punishment, Miss Hannigan forces Annie to scrub the floors and clean the orphanage. With her signature whistle rung around her neck, Miss Hannigan directs the orphans' daily tasks and startles them awake ? much to the irritation of the audience's eardrums.
In several scenes, Miss Hannigan expresses her deep dislike for the girls in her orphanage. The actress even bellows her disgust and stomps her feet while singing the song, "Little Girls."
After a second failed escape attempt, Annie is presented with an opportunity to leave the orphanage and live for two weeks in the mansion of billionaire Oliver Warbucks. Although he grew up in a poor family, Mr. Warbucks determined from a young age to become a very rich man.
"This junior academy production of Annie will delight any family craving a fun, uplifting musical to finish off a stressful day." ?Hannah Joseph, '11
Annie and Mr. Warbucks foster a strong, loving relationship during their time together. Their duo performance of "You Won't be an Orphan for Long" warmed the hearts of many spectators.
Despite Mr. Warbucks' generosity, Annie still wants to find information about her parents. To aid her search, Mr. Warbucks offers a $50,000 reward for Annie's parents if they decide to claim her.
Hundreds of people identify themselves as her parents, but in Cinderella fashion, a clue to authenticity serves to eliminate impostors: Annie's parents gave her a silver locket before they left. The four characters who know of the locket's existence ? Annie, Mr. Warbucks, his sectretary and Miss Hannigan ? must use it to discover Annie's true parents.
The cast performs one of many signature show tunes of the musical. Although the play strays from the musical's script on occasion, the young cast maintains the charm of the beloved Annie for audiences of all ages.
The caliber of the musical was worth the long time I spent in line for the performance. Like many other people in the theater, I walked out with a smile on my face. This junior academy production of Annie will delight any family craving a fun, uplifting musical to finish off a stressful day.
Annie performances will continue until Feb. 8 on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays at the Academy's theater, located at 4750 N. Blackstone Ave. Friday and Saturday performances begin at 7:30 p.m. while Sunday showings begin at 2 p.m.
Tickets cost $10 in advance for adults and $12 on the day of the show. Students and seniors pay $5 or $6 depending on time of purchase.
For more drama reviews, visit the Dec. 22, 2008, article, Rendition retains classic 'Nutcracker' charm.