The much loved Little Orphan Annie, that eternal sunbeam of optimism, has warmed many a hearts from the days when she was but a poem inspired comic strip character, even before she took to the stage in Tony Award-winning musical style. Such a very human reminder that ‘the sun will come out, tomorrow’ is precisely what people need at the end of a busy, perhaps even somewhat troubling, year. The reimagined Annie the Musical onstage at the Artscape Theatre courtesy of Pieter Toerien & Hazel Feldman is exactly that, the sunshine in your theatre life.
As I basked in the beauty of every note and tone on opening night, Annie made me believe in happy endings again. And ‘Leapin’ Lizards’ was it fun, especially seeing the kids in the audience totally mesmerised by this tale, living the highs and lows and ultimate joy of happily-ever-after along with Annie and her friends. Friends, I must mention, which just so happen to include the very real and cute Sandy the dog. Yes, I almost even bought a Sandy plush toy to take home with me… I may yet go back to the theatre to do just that! But back to the enchantment on the night…
Lilla Fleischmann was a gritty gutsy little charmer, as Annie should be. An undeniable talent that I am willing to bet Cape Town and South Africa will still see a lot of in future. If the standard on the evening is anything to go by, Emma Rose Blacher and Caitlin Dicker will be as delightful when they take the stage as Annie.
I also found Neels Clasen (Daddy Warbucks), Taryn Sudding (Grace) and Stephen Jubber (Rooster) particularly brilliant in their roles. They were beautifully supported by the rest of the amazing cast, probably the most equally talented and exceptionally entertaining troupe of performers I have seen together in a very long time. They were all in sync and on par from the moment the curtain went up until they took their well-deserved standing ovation bows.
With everything world class in so far as acting, set and lighting design, choreography, live orchestra… and, and, and… there is just so much that dazzle and amaze in every nuance of every second of this extraordinary musical experience. Can you tell that I liked it? Well, in all honestly I absolutely LOVED it!
Who needs Broadway and the West End when you have the reimagined Annie the Musical onstage right here at the Artscape Opera House in Cape Town?! It is a riveting, high-energy delight from beginning to end. A must see for your holiday season. Treat the whole family and buy your tickets at Computicket today.