ANNIE Opens Tonight at St. Jacobs Country Playhouse, Runs ThroughToday
Everyone's favourite musical is brought to life in all its glory in a heart-warming stage production that will appeal to the child in all of us. The hit family musical Annie entertains audiences young and old at the St. Jacobs Country Playhouse now through December 23rd.
A rags-to-riches story about a determined young girl's journey from a New York orphanage to the luxurious home of billionaire businessman Oliver Warbucks, Annie is beloved the world over. Boasting one of Broadway's most unforgettable scores, including "Hard-Knock Life," "Easy Street," "N.Y.C." and the ever optimistic "Tomorrow," this dynamic show is certain to provide families with memories to cherish for years to come.
"We are delighted by the response to Annie" says Artistic Director Alex Mustakas. "This production features some of Canada's top theatrical talent and audiences can't help but be amazed by the calibre of the performance. The result is a wonderfully entertaining musical for theatregoers of all ages."
Annie is more vibrant and heartfelt than ever under Mustakas' well-crafted direction, which includes a sizeable cast of 16 professional actors, 41 local children and a live dog. Mustakas' imaginative staging brings this treasured story to life with all the charm and exuberance that audiences expect from this energetic musical.
Music Director Michael Lerner leads an expert band through poignant ballads, comedic songs, and show-stopping production numbers that captivate the audience and leave everyone humming as they leave the theatre.
Choreographer Gino Berti creates exuberant choreography that perfectly complements both the intimate scenes and the grand ensemble numbers.
Jean Claude Olivier has designed a remarkable set with painted drops that are simply stunning, while Lighting Designer Kevin Fraser generates the perfect mood for each stirring scene.
An impressive cast has been assembled for this effort including Dominique Le Blanc as Annie. Annie is a big role for a little girl, and this 13-year old newcomer proves she has the perfect combination of talent and charisma to hold her own alongside many notable leading performers. Her marvellous voice and feisty demeanour immediately win over the audience and keep everyone rooting for the beloved red-haired imp. This natural performer seems right at home on stage and delivers the famous songs "Maybe" and "Tomorrow" with remarkable ease.
Revered Canadian actor Victor A. Young is ideally suited for the role of Oliver "Daddy" Warbucks. Young delivers a well-rounded performance of the self-made man of industry for whom nothing seems a challenge until his heart is captured by the irrepressible orphan. Young has appealing chemistry with his pint-sized co-star, especially in the charming duet "I Don't Need Anything But You." A multi-faceted talent, Young played the role of Andrew Wyke earlier this season in Sleuth.
Jackie Mustakas is outstanding as infamous orphanage matron, Miss Hannigan, portraying the scheming antagonist with the perfect balance of villainy and humour. Mustakas captivated audiences last season as the Wicked Witch of the West in the hit production of The Wizard of Oz.
Jayne Lewis hits all the right notes as Warbucks' astute personal assistant Grace Farrell, delivering a compelling performance opposite Young, her real-life husband. Drayton audiences adored Lewis in her portrayal of the imposing secretary in How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying last season and, earlier this year, as Betty Chumley in Harvey at the St. Jacobs Country Playhouse.
Perennial audience favourite Keith Savage is as lively and comical as ever as Miss Hannigan's scheming brother, Rooster. Melissa Thomson-Hicks forms a great double-act with Savage as Rooster's delightfully devious and alluring girlfriend, Lily St. Regis. When Savage and Thomson-Hicks join forces with Mustakas for the hit number "Easy Street" the result is a genuine showstopper.
Patric Masurkevitch plays a convincing President Franklin D. Roosevelt, while Kevin Etherington engages audiences with his lovable style and impeccable timing as Bert Healy among other roles.