Annie - Theatre Review

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By: Alison Silveira

The beloved family musical, Annie is now playing on stage at the Ed Mirvish Theatre.

As a child, I had enjoyed the movie and would belt out classics like, Tomorrow and It’s a Hard Knock Life, much to the annoyance of my family. I was eager to see the musical and it was an absolute delight.

Annie is a precocious twelve-year old orphan, who lives with other mischievous little girls and the evil Miss Hannigan in a derelict orphanage. When she is invited to spend two weeks at the mansion of billionaire, Oliver Warbucks, her whole life, and his, completely changes.  

Ruby Stokes, who plays Annie, is a remarkably talented child. She has a strong set of lungs and was very endearing in the title role. The group of little girls also entertained us with their antics and each one has their own distinctive personalities. I was really impressed that they kept up the high energy throughout the two-hour show. 

I am a huge Downton Abbey fan and was very excited to hear that Lesley Nicol, who played Mrs. Patmore on the British drama, would be portraying the role of Miss Hannigan in Annie. Nicol is unrecognizable in her negligee and garish makeup and elicited many laughs from the audience. She sings her disdain for Little Girls brilliantly, each word of the song dripping with detestation.  

We also meet Miss Hannigan’s crooked brother, Rooster. I thoroughly enjoyed Matthew Hawksley’s performance as the conniving con artist. His dancing and singing in the number, Easy Street, really stood out and he is the perfect con artist that the audience just loves to hate.   

The classic rags-to-riches story certainly made me nostalgic and I was able to relive my childhood for one magical night. Audiences will delight in the heartwarming story that is filled with humour, hummable songs and optimism.

Annie is playing at the Ed Mirvish Theatre until June 3. For more information or to purchase tickets, please visit: www.mirvish.com/shows/annie

Photo by Cylla von Tiedemann.