Short & Sweet critic Mary Beth Euker of Lake Zurich review Annie with Diana Martinez of Broadway in Chicago
Mary Beth Euker of Lake Zurich, a a trial lawyer by profession, spends her summers co-directing Cricket Theater Company, a youth theater program. Euker brings her passion for youth theater to her review of the opening night of Broadway in Chicago's Annie. Fittingly, Euker paid particular attention to the reactions of the children in the audience, noting their enthusiasm for the performance. She also found the actors to be captivating, particularly Garrett Deagon as Rooster, whom she describes as a "slick operator" and a "triple threat".
See below for a review by Diana Martinez:
The Sun comes out on "Annie" at the Cadillac Palace Theatre
A Short and sweet review by Diana Martinez and Mary Beth Euker.
The sun has come out on a very special production of Annie playing at the Cadillac Palace Theatre. The show is directed by Martin Charnin who was the original lyricist of Annie including "Tomorrow", the tune that lives on as one of the most sung Broadway songs in history. Charnin was also the director for the original Broadway production of Annie, and after seeing the recent revival he was inspired to direct his own revival. His production is nothing short of a classic, with strong voices, cute kids, an adorable dog and fantastic character actors. The opening night audience was a great mix of enthusiastic young audience members, who were probably attending their first professional theatrical production, and those who have cherished this show from their own youth.
My guest audience critic, Mary Beth Euker from Elk Grove Village, is an attorney by day, but during the summer she can be found directing children at Cricket Theatre Company, which she founded. Mary Beth, who is no stranger to children and musicals notes:
"The show did not disappoint! It was a living, singing and dancing history lesson of what the Depression Era and President Roosevelt were really like. The cast was terrific, in particular the ensemble players who were featured in a multitude of roles. They are all highly skilled performers and the audience enjoyed them. In terms of the lead roles, the stand out performances came from Miss Hannigan (Lynn Andrews), Rooster (Garret Deagon) and the little orphan Molly (Lilly Mae Stewart) who was the highlight of the orphan actors. She had a tremendous stage presence without stealing scenes." - Mary Beth Euker
To produce Annie well, you need to find actors who can play these archetypes with conviction, while displaying excellent comic timing and the sensitivity to play the tender moments in the show. Charnin found those actors and that's what makes the show work so well. The supporting cast, of the slick and talented Deagon, shrewd but lovable Andrews and flawless FDR by Brian Cowing are what makes this production soar with so much heart.
Annie is playing at the Cadillac Palace Theatre through Nov 30 and runs about 2 hours and 5 minutes. It truly is the perfect family holiday show with something for everyone!