Annie: a fantastic family musical comes to the Westchester Broadway Theatre

Published: Wednesday, July 12, 2017 By: Irene Wallace Source: I On The Valley

Annie: a fantastic family musical comes to the Westchester Broadway Theater | I On The Valley A wonderful  musical for the whole family has opened at the Westchester Broadway Theater.  Annie,  the long running Tony award winning musical inspired by the comic strip Little Orphan Annie thrilled the opening night audience. As this year marks the 40th anniversary of the premier of the show on Broadway, this is the perfect time to see this performance.   The show runs at the WBT through September 10th

Annie is the story of a little red-haired orphan who was abandoned by her parents at an orphanage in New York City.  The play opens in 1933 during the depth of the Great Depression.   Despite the long years living at the orphanage under the harsh supervision of Miss Hannigan, Annie remains a cheery optimist who in her heart believes her parents will come back some day and they will be a family again. Her companion is her stray dog Sandy, who like herself is looking for a home.  The setting mirrors the era of the Great Depression where many people had given up hope that good times and prosperity would return.  But Annie embodies the spirit of optimism and in her heart, she knows that tomorrow will bring a better day.   This is a wonderful inspirational show and a true victory of the spirit over adversity.

Annie is chosen to spend Christmas week at the home of the rich industrialist, Daddy Warbucks.  It is here that a bond is created by the cold business -like Warbucks, and the charming young orphan.  Warbucks’ assistant Grace, the staff and everyone who meets Annie are taken in by her charm and her spirit.  She even meets President Franklin D. Roosevelt and the two inspire each other despite the dark cloud of the depression hanging over the country.

When Daddy Warbucks offers a reward to find Annie’s real parents the intrigue begins when Miss Hannigan’s crooked brother Rooster hatches a plot to claim the award money.  The play comes to its conclusion with the unraveling of the plot and the realization that Annie has instead discovered a new family to call her own.

Opening night saw Payton Ella take on the role of Annie, a role originated on Broadway by Andrea McArdle.  Her young voice was clear and strong taking on the demanding lead role.  She charms the audience from the very beginning of the show.  Kaylin Hedges plays Annie on Sunday performances.

Broadway actor Michael DeVries plays Daddy Warbucks and has been in roles in Wicked and Hello, Dolly on Broadway.   Celeste Hudson last seen on the WBT stage in Show Boat plays the charming assistant Grace.  Susan Fletcher tackles the role of Miss Hannigan with comedic flair.  She was last seen at WBT in Always…Patsy Cline.    Rooster the con-man brother of Miss Hannigan is played by Adam Roberts who also appeared on  Broadway in Spiderman, Turn off the Dark and Pippin.

The ensemble cast including all the young ladies who play the orphans do a wonderful job in their roles and boosting the sound of the many memorable songs including “Tomorrow”, “It’s a Hard Knock Life” and “Easy Street”.

A fun and a great show for the whole family, right here in Westchester!  The theater requests that children be at least 5 years old or older.  Dinner is served prior to the performance.  Free parking.  Luxury Boxes are available for larger groups.

Music by Charles Strouse, Lyrics by Martin Charnin, and book by Thomas Meehan.  So come out and celebrate the joy of Annie, through September 10th at the Westchester Broadway Theater.