BWW Review: ANNIE at Fox Theatre
The biggest news surrounding the show is the decision to cast a bi-racial Annie for the first time. Tori Bates, playing the title role, might not look like the Annie we have seen throughout the years - Caucasian, red wig - but she sure embodies the spirit of the girl who always exemplified the power of positivity. The decision to cast Bates came months after "Hamilton" broke traditional casting and then won 11 Tony Awards, including Best New Musical and Best Leading Actor in a Musical. That is a whole other article, though.
The 11-year-old Bates was the perfect Annie, regardless of her race. The audience could tell that she was elated to be on stage singing beloved tunes like "Maybe" (and the two reprises of the song) and "It's the Hard-knocked Life." Can you imagine going into an audition just for fun and three callbacks later getting a call that would change your childhood forever?
Bates brought to life the spirit of the show. She made us want to hug our mothers when she hugged by Casey Grins' Grace Farrell. She made us have all the feels when she discovered that Gilgamesh Taggett's Daddy Warbucks was adopting her. She reminded us that you are never truly dressed with a smile. She gave us hope that maybe tomorrow will be better than the day before.