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Annie @ Overbrook High School

"You're never fully dressed without a smile," and Overbrook's recent rendition of Annie the Musical will have you leaving the theater grinning from ear to ear.

Little Orphan Annie's story began with the emergence of a comic book created by Harold Gray, published in 1924. This story follows Annie, a young girl in an orphanage, and the chance of a lifetime as she is granted an opportunity to spend the holidays in the mansion of Oliver Warbucks. Charles Strouse composed the music for Annie's entrance onto the Broadway stage in 1977 and proceeded to win seven Tony awards, including Best Musical. Since then, the story has been adapted into 3 movies, the most recent in 2014. Annie has grown to become one of the most recognizable characters in American history. Her story still warms the hearts of audiences nationwide.

Overbrook's production of this classic story provides a wonderful tribute to the iconic plot and characters, while also adding a personalized spin by mimicking the original comic book release of Annie's story. Large numbers such as "Hard Knock Life," "Hooverville," and "NYC," highlight Overbrook's energetic ensemble and truly suit the progression of the story. Effort is also apparent in aspects of stage crew and technical elements with sound quality, quick scene changes, and lighting choices.

Annie, played by Nalae Zachary-Hairston, does an absolutely fantastic job of convincing the audience that she is truly an eleven-year-old girl searching for an escape. Strong vocals in "Maybe" and "Tomorrow" make the performance greatly entertaining for the audience. Luke Weaver, who portrays Oliver "Daddy" Warbucks, presents a true understanding of his role, supporting it with perfectly timed humor and heartwarming portrayals of emotions felt over the course of the story. Annie's and Warbucks' characters have fantastic chemistry which helps develop their "father-daughter" relationship.

The main antagonist of Annie's story, Miss Hannigan (Amaya Bullock) makes the audience continuously laugh at her mannerisms and jokes. Not to mention her astonishing vocals, specifically in "Little Girls," that make the character difficult to dislike. Grace Farrell (Natalie Sosing), an assistant to Warbucks, provides a motherly figure to Annie and further grows the heartwarming themes of her story. Secondary antagonists, Rooster Hannigan (Tyler Blaylock), and Lily St. Regis (Savannah Mitchell) amaze with the energy of the spectacular "Easy Street" and provide perfect comedic timing and spectacular chemistry.

Overbrook Art Crew's creation of the sets in this production are extremely original as well as perfectly executed and effective. They reference the origin of Annie's story through the use of comic art styles. The use of lighting in this show appropriately sets mood throughout the scenes with perfectly cued timings. The stage managers as well as the run crew do a tremendous job at quickly transitioning between each scene, promoting audience engagement.

Overall, Overbrook's rendition of Annie the Musical gives new life to this notable story. The combination of strong leads, energetic ensemble, and successful technical choices truly represent this heartwarming tale.

About the Author

Flood-Orion, Jeffrey

Flood-Orion, Jeffrey

Program Director - FY20 Season


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