Reviewed by Kerry Cooper
Most people are familiar with the story of ‘Little Orphan Annie’, but some are not aware that it began as a poem and was later developed into a daily comic strip in New York Daily News in 1924. Director Riley Ingham has cleverly incorporated this history in this production of Annie. Greg Adams animation design and backdrop projections were striking and showed Annie’s journey through time beautifully. His comic strip theme developed from sepia to colour and mimicked Annie’s transition.
Adelaide Youth Theatre are never short on numbers and this show is no different with a cast of close to a hundred adorning the stage. Choreographer Mackenzie Price and her assistant Claire Henderson rose to the challenge of incorporating the talents of many with their sharp dance moves; ‘A Hard Knock Life’ was a highlight.
With a score that is so identifiable you find yourself tapping your toes from the get go. Musical director Georgia Broomhall and Orchestral director Mark Stefanoff wealth of experience was evident in their direction of a skilled musical ensemble.
I was lucky enough to witness Gemma Dandie in the title role; her performance showed talent beyond her years, with a voice that hit all the right notes and an innocence that swept you up. With so many talented individuals to choose from, I do not envy the job of casting such a show. All lead roles were chosen well, notably Buddy Dawson as Warbucks, Erin McKellar as Hannigan and Eliza Oppedisano as Molly.