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

Brennan Regan...Duffy

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

Hazel Ward...Molly

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

Lily Mace...Tessie

Maddi Carpenter-Crawford...Pepper

Madison Krumins...July

Marilyn Zerlak...Hoovervillians / NYC Chorus

Mark Krumins...Morganthau / Hoovervillians / NYC Chorus / Sound Effects Man

Maryanna Lauter...Annie

Meredith Shapiro...Hoovervillians / NYC Chorus

Rachel Biber...Miss Hannigan

Reagan Marinucci...Orphan Chorus

Sara Ward...Annette /Boylan Sister / Hoovervillians / NYC Chorus

Shannon Groves...Grace Farrell

Sheri Shapiro...MrS. Greer

Stephaney Vietor...Servant Chorus / Hoovervillians / NYC Chorus / Usherette

Sydney Harker...Kate

Taelor Burrell....Orphan Chorus

Tony Targan...Mr. Bundles / FDR / Hoovervillians / NYC Chorus

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Maryanna Lauter stars in ANNIE

Maryanna Lauter stars in ANNIE

Annie and Molly

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