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Vienna Theatre Company Presents Willy Wonka

Annie, Jr. at Laurel Mill Playhouse

By • Aug 5th, 2006 • Category: Reviews

Listen to our review of Laurel Mill Playhouse’s Summer Youth Theatre presentation of Annie, Jr. [MP3 3:45 1.1MB].

Laura: We saw the opening night performance of Laurel Mill Playhouse‘s Summer Youth Theatre presentation of Annie, Jr. in Laurel, Maryland.

Mike: Annie, Jr. is the abbreviated version of Annie. Annie is the musical story of a little orphan named Annie living in a New York City orphanage. She tries to escape because she wants to find her birth family. She is caught, taken back to the orphanage. Then she is placed in a millionaire’s home where she continues to search for her birth family.

Laura: This was a really fun show. The kids put a lot of heart and soul into it. They really looked like they had a good time. Therefore the audience had a good time also.

Mike: This is a youth production. Almost all of the actors and backstage crew were members of the community, children and high school youth. They did a pretty good job with it.

Laura: The main character, Annie, the orphan girl looking for her birth parents, was played by Sarah Jenks. She did a really nice job. She had a lot of emotion. She seemed to enjoy being up on stage and performing. One of the songs that she sang with her dog, Sandy, was “Tomorrow.” They did a really cute song together. Sandy actually sang a long at certain points. That was really cute to watch.

Mike: Sandy was played by Katie Ruiz. She was singing along. It was kind of funny, she had a little dog mask on. When she sang “Tomorrow” chorus it kind of got muffled and everyone chuckled at that. That was fine. One of the characters who really had a good time was Rooster Hannigan played by James Raymond. He had such a blast on stage and got into it. He was very relaxed and got Miss Hannigan and Lily to really get into their kick steps. It was a lot of fun watching them perform.

Laura: The set was nice. It was a simple set. They made good use of the stage in that they had a curtain come down to signify going from the orphanage to the streets of New York. I thought they did that well. The cast and crew helped with moving the props around.

Mike: The costumes were well thought out. The orphans did have a similar costume, but they weren’t the exact same pattern. Some of the plaids they were wearing were sideways, and some of them had patches on them. Mr. Warbucks looked very prim and proper. President Roosevelt’s wheelchair seemed to be very period appropriate. There were a lot of small touches that attributed to the overall feel of the show.

Laura: One thing I enjoyed about this show was that it was a kid driven show. The actors and actresses were all children. The set crew, the backstage crew. Everybody was a child or high school student. I think it’s important to get children involved with drama at a young age. Summer is a great time to do that to get them involved, not just in the acting, but in all aspects of the theater.

Mike: If your community theater group already has a children’s theater program, that’s great. You’re already starting to train up the next generation cast and crew. If your group doesn’t have a children’s group of some sort, you might want to start planning now for next summer to do something to get children involved.

Laura: Annie, Jr. is playing at the Laurel Mill Playhouse in Laurel, Maryland weekends through August 27th. I do recommend you call ahead because it was nearly sold out.

Mike: And now, on with the show.

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started ShowBizRadio in August 2005 because they love live theater. They each have both performed in and worked behind the scenes in DC area productions, as well as earned a Career Studies Certificate in Theater from Northern Virginia Community College. Mike & Laura are each members of the American Theatre Critics Association, and Mike is a member of the Online News Association.

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