Kojak and a girl without a curly afro (!)  star in Annie.

I’m always skeptical about traveling shows, (the way I am of certain off-brand generic foods). I was especially so in the case of the new “Annie” since I had seen the original on Broadway as a child and gotten not bitten, but attacked, by the drama bug, deciding then and there that I too wanted to be a child star — or at least an orphan who strikes it rich. And though I’m loath to admit it, the production of the new “Annie” at Robinson last night far exceeded my expectations. The stellar show, much to the annoyance of
co-workers and family members alike, left me humming, and also belting out, showtunes all day today. What can I say? My enthusiasm is genuine but not infectious.

All aspects of the production impressed me, and my six-year-old date — from the set design to the costumes, and of course the caliber of the actors (both canine and human).


I admit it, I may not have been looking forward to taking in a show from Celebrity Attractions on a frigid February night, but I think I was one of the first to tear up with the very first strains of “Maybe.” Call me sentimental, but that plucky, determined orphan just gets me. An earnest pump of the arm, and upward tilt of the chin, and I was won over. She’s such an optimist!

Miss Hannigan, the somewhat bawdy, hefty matron who rules over the orphanage
with an iron fist (and jazz hand), also gave a standout performance. Played by Lynn Andrews, she was a joy to watch, and, as I commented later, “such a great dancer, and so comfortable in her own body,” to which my daughter later responded, “Sandi [the dog] was my favorite. He’s just so comfortable in his own body.” How true. When all is sung and done, you can “bet your bottom dollar” that this is one show worth seeing (preferably with a little girl in tow).


—Katherine Wyrick