Derby Dinner Playhouse: Annie Review
You’re Never Fully Dressed without a Smile and if it is a smile you need, turn to Derby Dinner Playhouse’s newest production of Annie! I’ll admit, I am a little biased, I was smiling as I walked my 5 year old son through the front doors because of the memories I had! Derby Dinner Playhouse gave me my first opportunity at a real, professional stage show when I appeared in Annie there, nearly 22 years ago! I am so proud to know that Kentuckiana has such a wonderful theater dedicated to good family entertainment and to finding young, talented actors who want to begin their dream of performing.
One such talented artist was Lauren Petrey who played the title role on opening night. She was a breath of fresh air and reminded us that with hope, anything can happen. Her beautiful vocals were both touching and inspiring on songs like “Maybe” and “Tomorrow.” For her age, she was poised and handled herself well among a cast of nearly 25! She rotates the title role with Kennedy Kruse. 12 other young ladies rotate the various roles of the orphans. Trying to handle all of those “Little Girls” is the mean, but amusing Elizabeth Loos as Miss Hannigan. You just almost can’t help but feel sorry for what she has to go through, but you are quickly reminded that she is the bad guy, along with her brother Rooster (Matthew Brennan) and Lilly St. Regis (Megan Bliss). The trio tries to find a way to “Easy Street” with lively song and dance numbers that have you singing along in your seat!
Looking to take Annie in are the elegant duo of Grace Ferrell (Colette Delaney) and Oliver Warbucks (Jeff March). While lavishing Annie with their Billionaire lifestyle and introducing her to the likes of President Roosevelt (played effortlessly by Paul Kerr) they are sincere in wanting to help Annie try to find her parents who abandoned her 11 years ago. The cast is rounded out and completed with an upbeat chorus who portrayed interesting characters at every turn!
Directed by Lee Buckholz (whom incidentally was in my very first production of Annie there) – one can appreciate the subtle ways he looked to make Annie refreshing and different, through scenery, costume colors and even Annie’s mop of red curls! Instead of sticking out like a circular ring all the way around her head, they fell in perfect little ringlets framing her face in a more natural way! The choreography by Heather Folsom had audience members bouncing along! She worked especially well with having a lot of people on stage at once and with having 7 little girls kick and jump during numbers like “It’s a Hard Knock Life.”
My 5 year old son enjoyed seeing all of the children in the show, but when asked what his favorite part was, he answered with SANDY! Of course, we could never finish this review without mentioning that adorable dog. All of the children in the audience loved it when the dog took the stage! And, we sang the whole way home . . . Tomorrow, tomorrow, I love ya, tomorrow, you’re only a day away!
Annie runs through Aug. 12.
Call 812-288-8281 or toll free 877-898-8577 for tickets and information.
This show is sure to sell out, so don’t wait!
They were nice enough to give us a set of two tickets to giveaway to one lucky member!
Check out The Mommy Nest on Facebook tomorrow night to register to win!