‘Annie’ fills theatre, left audience smiling

Christmas is a little less than a month away, but getting in the holiday spirit is ‘only a day away.’ "Annie" has arrived at Missouri Western’s main stage. The classic musical, based on a popular comic strip, is the second production of the theatre department’s Year of the Tony. Annie, the optimistic redheaded orphan, challenges everyone to discover something positive in every situation. Annie and Oliver Warbucks, played by Annaka Kellogg and Erik Burns-Sprung respectively, did a phenomenal job portraying their characters. The highlight of their performance was the heartwarming rendition of “I Don’t Need Anything But You.” Kellogg also handled a slight technical problem like a professional when her microphone pack came undone during the first act. There were also several supporting roles that made "Annie" truly memorable. Actors Kyle Minx, Sebastian Smith, Robin Ussher and Andy Tyhurst all played three roles throughout the musical. Each role demonstrated their versatility as actors. Makayla Tovey, who played the orphan Molly, cannot go unmentioned. The entire Orphan Ensemble gave noteworthy performances; however, Tovey continually captivated the audience with her back flips and mischievous stage presence. The technical crew of "Annie" was just as impressive as the cast. Upon entering the theatre, there was a simple curtain with the original artwork from "Annie." Radio commercials and songs from the 1930s were a pleasant scene setter. Although the stage dressing was not as elaborate as past productions, the simple backdrop provided the perfect stylistic pretext to "Annie." The New York City skyline, that lit the background with its ever changing lights, was another visual element that added to the authenticity of the production. Throughout the entire production there were two details that could be improved upon. The first is the Tiffany box that contained the new locket Warbucks gave to Annie. The prop box was red. While this may seem an insignificant, Tiffany and Co. has been known for its blue box since 1837. The second critic is that the chorus line needs to project when singing. While the majority of the audience won’t notice the locket box color, the audience will notice if the chorus line fails to project their voices during musical numbers. "Annie" will run from Nov. 29 through Dec. 9. Tickets for show can be purchased at the box office in Potter Hall or students can participate in the Student Ticket Rush Program which gives the first 25 students attending the play a free ticket. *To see a slideshow of the play, click here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WC9sdNqSYhQ&feature=player_embedded

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