BWW Review: ANNIE at Dutch Apple Dinner Theatre
Dutch Apple's current production of Annie is an excellent introduction to the magic of live theater for kids of all ages. The show is 2 ½ hours of unbridled optimism, heart, and humor. Piper Sobon stars as the spunky orphan whose greatest dream is to be reunited with her lost family. Miss Sobon brings just the right combination of sass and sweetness to the role. She knows how to belt out a song, and commands the stage like a pro.
Victor Legarreta plays Daddy Warbucks, the billionaire businessman who develops quite a soft spot for Annie. Legarreta doesn't come across as especially crusty, but rather preoccupied with his work. This is a great approach to the character and makes the transition to doting father figure easier to believe.
Meagan Michelson plays Miss Hannigan, the orphanage's caretaker and overall troublemaker. It was clear that Michelson was having as much fun playing the role, as the audience had watching her. I especially liked the fact that she was more childish and immature than most of the 8 year olds in her care. Bennett Leeds and Theresa Walker adeptly play Rooster and Lily, two small time crooks who desperately want to move to "Easy Street" with Hannigan's assistance.
This show has not one, but two excellent ensembles. The adult ensemble portrays Warbuck's singing and dancing hired help for most of the show, while the child ensemble consists of the rest of the plucky ragamuffins from the orphanage. Kudos all around.
Last, but certainly not least, a four legged actor named Finnegan stars as "Sandy" who is Annie's prized pooch. There was a loud and deserved "awwwwwwwww!" from the audience every time her furry friend trotted on stage.
In conclusion, Dutch Apple's Annie is a great night of summer entertainment for the whole family. Don't wait until "Tomorrow" to go see it. As usual, tickets and more info can be found at the Dutch Apple home page.