BWW Reviews: Honeybunch of Ragamuffins Delight Farmington Hills with ANNIE
By Dr. Anton Anderssen
Now on stage at The Farmington Players Community Theatre is the beloved Broadway musical "Annie," the feel-good Christmas season story featuring irresistible little starlets; these adorable kids sing and dance their hearts out, exuding tons of charm and pure innocence. Everybody's favorite orphan, Annie (played spectacularly by Maryanna Lauter) and her gang of radiant ragamuffins spread their message of cheer and hope to a country bogged down in a quagmire of economic depression.
Billionaire industrialist Daddy Warbucks (played magnificently by Alidor P Lefere III) comes to the rescue of this red-headed bairn, with the help of his faithful secretary Grace Farrell (played elegantly by Shannon Groves). A troupe of bright-eyed little darlings take center stage in this delightful romp through Manhattan's Hooverville, entertainment district, ghettos and swanky locales. Each tatterdemalion wears a cute and fetching costume that looks like it came right out of 1933, albeit with a nod to Burberry plaid.
Of particular note was the performance by Rachel Biber, whose star shone brightly as she portrayed the evil Miss Hannigan. Biber showed boundless energy, excellent drunken poise, and spirited talent; she emoted her role with professionalism tempered by the allure of her come-hither charm. Her apology to the orchestra was particularly funny when she accidentally bounced a doll's head into the pit.
Speaking of dolls, Hazel Ward as absolutely adorable as Molly!
Timothy Timmer works as technical director, and does a great job keeping all aspects of the show running seamlessle. Kandi Krumins (choreographer) created a fun stage of dancing, with original and unexpected whirls and twirls. Of note was the human staircase that let Annie march up into the arms of Drake.
Dianne Cragg was superb as Musical Director, providing a fine league of talent with beautiful brass performance.
This wonderful production is performed by The Farmington Players, a non-profit organization. The musical ends December 29.
By Strouse, Meehan & Charnin
Anne Craft...Cecille / Perkins / Hoovervillians / NYC Chorus
Audrey Groves...Hoovervillians / NYC Chorus
Brandon Mace...Rooster / Angry Man in NYC
Brigid Blaschak...Hoovervillians / NYC Chorus
Brittany Ward...Star To Be / Hoovervillians / NYC Chorus / Boylan Sister
Carter Krumins...Appleseller / Hoovervillians / NYC Chorus
Charlie Gass...Hull / Hoovervillians / NYC Chorus / Jimmy Johnson
Cheryl Brown...Mrs. Pugh
Daijelle Williams...Servant Chorus
Daniel Murray...Bert Healy
Dorne Lefere...Daddy Warbucks
Elizabeth Bartz...Lily St. Regis
Jerry Gass...Drake / Hoovervillians
Jillian Clark...Orphan Chorus
Jim Snideman...LT. Ward / Ickes / McCracken/Wacky / Hoovervillians / NYC Chorus
Jordyn Lash...Orphan Chorus
Karen Southworth...Hoovervillians / NYC Chorus
Katie Walker...Boylan Sister / Hoovervillians / NYC Chorus
Marilyn Zerlak...Hoovervillians / NYC Chorus
Mark Krumins...Morganthau / Hoovervillians / NYC Chorus / Sound Effects Man
Meredith Shapiro...Hoovervillians / NYC Chorus
Rachel Biber...Miss Hannigan
Reagan Marinucci...Orphan Chorus
Sara Ward...Annette /Boylan Sister / Hoovervillians / NYC Chorus
Sheri Shapiro...MrS. Greer
Stephaney Vietor...Servant Chorus / Hoovervillians / NYC Chorus / Usherette
Taelor Burrell....Orphan Chorus
Tony Targan...Mr. Bundles / FDR / Hoovervillians / NYC Chorus