An­nie! Lit­tle orphan big hit

The Glengarry News - - The Opinion Page - News

BY MAR­GARET CALDBICK

Staff Lit­tle Orphan An­nie is more than 90 years old, but she didn’t look a day over 12 on Satur­day night at the fi­nale of a three-night run of the mu­si­cal An­nie at Glen­garry District High School in Alexandria.

The lead role of An­nie was played by El­lie MacK­in­non, whose joy­ful ex­u­ber­ance play­ing the tena­cious red-headed orphan made the au­di­ence for­get they were watch­ing a 15-year-old in the role.

Ms. MacK­in­non’s fine big voice rect­ing highly en­ter­tain­ing mu­si­cals at the school.

And suc­cess­ful too. For each of the three nights last week, more than 200 peo­ple filled the school’s cafe­te­ria with stand­ing ova­tions af­ter ev­ery per­for­mance.

An­nie has three de­spi­ca­ble villains, and Gaby Robin­son Cadieux, 15, as the child-hat­ing, gin-swill­ing or­phan­age boss Miss Han­ni­gan, Pa­trick Glueck , 17, as the con artist Rooster, and Emma Wil­son, 12, as his whiny girl­friend Lily, were es­pe­cially ef­fec­tive dis­play­ing their nas­ti­ness., But they were ir­re­sistibly like­able too, es­pe­cially in the three­some’s sig­na­ture song and dance num­ber, Easy Street, which drew the loud­est ap­plause of the night.

Solid cast

The en­tire cast was en­er­getic and in fine voice. Wil­liam Lutz, 18, as Daddy War­bucks brought phys­i­cal pres­ence to the role and solid singing in his two solo num­bers, and Grace Gra­ham was pre­dictably solid and cred­i­ble in her role as Grace Far­rell who works for the board of or­phans and acts as a sur­ro­gate mother to An­nie. A ma­jor char­ac­ter in the play, Ms Gra­ham was a stand-out in I Think I’m Go­ing Like It Here, the num­ber she shares with An­nie and War­bucks’ ser­vants.

The en­tire sup­port­ing cast, many of whom played sev­eral roles, was so en­thu­si­as­tic and so well re­hearsed, that the play’s two acts sped by.

There were no stand­outs on stage, ev­ery ac­tor was en­gag­ing and watch­able, but Kate Fabros as orphan Kate and Star to Be was heart­break­ingly mov­ing in her solo singing, J.J. Ro­ma­niuk in sev­eral roles was an imp on stage grab­bing the au­di­ence’s at­ten­tion in ev­ery scene she was in, and Kathan Pa­tel play­ing the dry Drake, War­buck’s but­ler and good friend, de­liv­ered some of the night’s best one-lin­ers. And fi­nally, Lewis MacLeod, 14, in three roles was de­light­ful, and hi­lar­i­ously re­al­is­tic as the ven­tril­o­quist’s dummy.

The live or­ches­tra con­sist­ing of El­iz­a­beth Cad­dell on pi­ano, and stu­dents Emma Rei­jmers on vi­o­lin, Zar­ren Ali on bass, Sarah McKin­non on drums, and No­rah Hunter as page-turner, were the back­bone of evening do­ing ex­cel­lent ser­vice to the Charles Strouse and Martin Charnin songs, in­clud­ing “To­mor­row,” “Hard-Knock Life,” “You’re Never Fully Dressed With­out a Smile” and “Maybe.”

And fi­nally, Mrs. Cad­dell was de­ter­mined that the cast would in­clude a live dog play­ing Sandy, An­nie’s rescue dog.

Fol­low­ing se­ri­ous au­di­tions, the role was played by five-year-old Lucy Lou, who hap­pens to be­long to stu­dent Mariska De­war-Massie who was one of the play’s two stage man­agers with Ethan MacIsaac.

Lucy Lou, a Border col­lie, did a ter­rific job on stage, and also af­ter the per­for­mance when she and the en­tire cast lined up to greet the au­di­ence. Off leash and friendly to ev­ery­one, Lucy Lou made the rounds, greet­ing theatre-go­ers who bent over to pet and ad­mire her.

MARIE REI­JMERS PHOTO

THE BAND: El­iz­a­beth Cad­dell, Emma Rei­jmers, Sarah McKin­non and Zar­ren Ali.

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