I always thought of ANNIE as one of the shows that community theater does to involve as many kids (of all ages) in order to sell as many tickets as possible. So I, somewhat reluctantly, wended my way to Perkiomen Valley Middle School. I needn’t have worried. I smiled from scene one on.
In the pivotal role of Annie, Methacton found a gold mine in Amia Shauvan. She is a dynamite performer. Her voice is spectacular and her understanding of the role is way beyond her years. Even if she can’t blank out her eyeballs,(an inside joke to those who remember the cartoon strip), she was nothing short of wonderful.
Jude Adams was a plus as Oliver (Daddy) Warbucks. His tenor was strong and he managed the transitions from strictly business to being wrapped around Annie’s little finger very well. His secretary, Grace Farrell, was played by Nicolette Addice. She is not only lovely to look at, but she has a sweet sure soprano that was a joy to hear.
All of the orphans were cute as pie and sang well–particularly little Paige Brady as Molly. What a scene stealer she is.
The difficult role of Miss Hannigan was in the able hands of Renee Grant. She’s the comic villain of the piece and must tread the thin line between being detestable and being funny. She was spot on. She joined with James Corkum as her wastrel brother Rooster, and Alexa Ross as Lilly St. Regis ( a lady of shady virtue), in a super version of “ Easy Street”.
The supporting cast (too numerous to mention) were fine. Special mention to Kevin Sullivan, who made more of Drake the Butler than the part is written, and Lynn Corfield, Linda Luong and Jennifer Weinstein, who wrung every possible bit of humor out of The Boylan Sisters.
Director John Corkum kept the proceedings moving along at a good pace. Music Director Ken Brown conducted one of the best small pit orchestras I have heard in a long time. They supported the singers but did not overwhelm them.
The set design by Mike Adams and John Corkum used the facilities exceptionally well. They flew many drops and set pieces that set the 1933 scenes perfectly. More rehearsal time on stage would make the scene changes go more swiftly, but I understand the problem with using a school facility.
The always reliable Tom Dinnella provided the lighting design and Don Otto’s sound worked well.
Methacton Community Theater can be justifiably proud of their production of ANNIE. Hurry, you only have next weekend to smile through it.
Book by Thomas Meehan
Music by Charles Strouse Lyrics by Martin Charnin
Directed by John Corkum
July 13-21 2012
Perkiomen Middle School
100 Kagey Road
Collegeville, Pa 19426