Music by Charles Strouse
Lyrics by Martin Charnin
Directed by Martin Charnin
Choreographer Liza Gennaro
Musical Direction by Keith Levenson
At the Palace Theatre, Chicago
Annie ‘s score fuels the cartoon fable come to life
No matter how many times I’ve seen Annie, I always enjoy the show. Why? Because of the great tunes, or because I like cartoon fables with a fine message? Annie is a warm, sweet old-time Broadway musical with lots of heart. That may be enough. The optimism in Annie is contagious.
This ageless 1930’s fable is a beloved classic old-time Broadway musical that leaves you humming the melodies as you leave the theatre. Annie, with music by Charles Strouse and book by Thomas Meehan, is again directed by its lyricist, Martin Charnin, who brought the original production of Annie to Broadway in 1977. Set designer Beowulf Boritt has created a new look for this production. The 8 member orchestra sounded terrific proving that live musicians sound better than canned music. This national touring production is a sort of Annie lite with fewer children and fewer ensemble members than most productions I’ve seen. The quality of some of the cast members reflects this low budget non-Equity cast.
This Annie has adequate children led by the presence of Issie Swickle as Annie. She wins us over quickly as she leads the kids in “It’s the Hard-Knock Life.” Her strong voice allowed her to nail the keynote song “Tomorrow” that is most identified with this musical.
Date Reviewed: November 18, 2014
At the Palace Theatre, 170 W. Randolph, Chicago, IL, call 800-775-2000, www.broadwayinchicago.com , tickets $25 to $105, through November 30, 2014