BWW Review: ANNIE at Rocky Mountain Repertory Theatre

BWW Review: ANNIE at Rocky Mountain Repertory TheatreLet's be honest - you probably know exactly how you feel about Annie before you take your seat. You're either set to swoon over the spunky little orphan or groan after she reprises "Tomorrow" a third time.

I'm usually the latter -- really just in it for the villains. Sure, it's cute how Annie almost singlehandedly fixes the Depression with optimism, but "EASY STREET" IS JUST SO CATCHY.

If you happen to be around Grand Lake with some free evening plans, Rocky Mountain Repertory Theatre's current production, directed by Jeff Duke, is satisfying no matter which side you're on.

Annie is played by Sierra Matz, who is peppy enough in the role, settling into it with an earnest approach. She's surely got the voice for it, and her charisma is fine, but at points the performance feels a little too routine.

Warbucks is given a nice balance of charm and clout by Brian Maurice Kinnard, whose resonant voice couples nicely with his refined emotional presence. Alongside him, Maya Rowe gives Grace Farrell a bright and warm presence.

Miss Hannigan is given a refreshing dose of dry humor by Sharon Sachs, who plays her a bit understated, elevating the character's exhaustion in an enjoyable way. Her brother, Rooster (Neil Stratman) and his lady, Lily (Valerie Igoe), are standouts in character work, bringing exactly what you need to the diabolical duo.

Overall, the cast has a nice energy, with noteworthy performances in each scene. The president's cabinet brings a welcome dose of camp to their turn at "Tomorrow." Hooverville's got angst. And you can't not smile when Sandy struts on stage.

Scenic design by Reuben Lucas provides a nice contrast between the gritty orphanage and the grandeur of Warbucks' estate. A projection is used effectively for some of the backdrops, although it could be a bit brighter for the mansion scenes.

But whether you're there for the nostalgia of the tunes, the ever-present optimism of its leading lady or in it for the anti-heroes like me, Rocky Mountain Rep's Annie is just what it needs to be.

Annie continues on select days through August 24. A detailed performance schedule and tickets are available at RockyMountainRep.com

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From This Author Chris Arneson

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