Lyric answers Annie’s call

THE much loved, family-friendly musical Annie returned to Leongatha’s Mesley Hall on Friday night and delighted the opening nighters with this bright and joyful revival.
First staged by Leongatha Lyric Theatre in 1985, 33 years on director Kerryn Lockhart has given this legendary musical a fresh new look and her talented cast gave the audience plenty to applaud on opening night. It was traditional Lyric Theatre at its best.
While little has changed in Mesley Hall in that time, the way the set designers, builders and painters have worked to produce this exceptional set is a credit to the hundreds of hours they have put in.
The scenes at the Warbuck’s mansion, the Hooverville slums and New York City were simply stunning.
It’s a classic story, with a happy ending, loads of high spirited children, a fabulous cast, with some great singing and dancing and brilliant sets; there is so much to love about this show.
Star of the show Inverloch’s infectiously charming Grace Farmer who plays the title role, Annie had plenty to sing about on opening night including the uplifting Tomorrow, celebrating her 11th birthday on stage and giving a spirited, yet soulful performance backed by her unruly gang of orphans who were all fabulous.
It is clear they have been well-rehearsed by their talented director, musical director, choreographer and production team, they all look like they are having a really good time.
Grace’s parents Jo and Mark Farmer and her Newhaven College friends would have been very proud of her sweet singing and energetic dance moves.
Grace stays in character, charming adults on stage with that dazzling smile and cheeky wit and no wonder Oliver “Daddy” Warbucks (Tim Gesell) fell for this diminutive yet strong willed, red-headed power-house, she is a standout.
It has to be said though; the production manager Ann Hemming’s cute pooch Sandy (Remmi) did all the right moves on stage; with owner Ann apparently much more nervous on opening night than the dog, hoping all would go to plan!
Well known on local stages, Gesell as Warbucks did a top job creating a strong-minded, gruff, but genuinely kind hearted character.
This is a production heavy on laughs, many instigated by the hilarious and brilliant Michelle dal Masetto as the villainous drunk Miss Hannigan, a comic character who brings a lot of fun to the show.
Certainly Glenys Day, who played Miss Hannigan in 1985 and attended opening night, was one of the first to congratulate Michelle on her performance.
Dal Masetto withBrad Boucher as Rooster and Kiarna Smith as Lily, worked terrifically together, certainly one of the highlights of the show.
Bruce Grainger as President Roosevelt, with his fabulous accent and perfectly timed delivery of lines, was a solid performance.
Another wonderful aspect of the production is the obvious care and attention given to both the sets and costumes.
There are several smooth set transitions that take us from Orphanage to Downtown Shanty, from New York City to Warbucks Mansion.
The well styled 1930s art deco costumes bring everything to life, this production has really brought together a fantastic cast of talented actors who above all else just look like they’re having fun up there.
Performances continue this week, July 12-15, and July 19-21.
Tickets at www.lyrictheatre.net.au or phone 0490 525 482.

Riding the subway: Kerryn Moren (Grace Farrell), Grace Farmer (Annie) and Tim Gessell (Oliver Worbucks) perform NYC with the adult cast with the stunning New York City set as the backdrop.

Short URL: http://thestar.com.au/?p=25394

Posted by on Jul 10 2018. Filed under Arts & Entertainment. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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