I was out getting a booster chair (a Wharton perk of which I was previously unaware) and missed the announcement, but was told understudy Adia Dant (“Pepper”) played Annie in this performance. If the star Issie Swickle is even close to Adia’s caliber, she will charm everyone. Lynn Andrews was an appropriately despicable Miss Hannigan, and her cohorts, Rooster and Lily (Garrett Deagon and Lucy Werner) were wonderfully awful. It was a pleasure to see them thwarted by the heroic Daddy Warbucks (Gilgamesh Taggett) and his pal, FDR (Allan Baker) Ashley Elder was an elegantly gracious Grace. The orphan ensemble was adorable and energetic.
I was impressed by the dancing, which was precise and imaginative (Liza Gennaro). And the SETS (Beowulf Boritt) which were fabulously opulent or decrepit, as appropriate, and flew in an out every other minute, it seems. This is a very set-demanding show (LCP produced their 1984 version at Waverly High School, because it had “fly space” for rented backdrops.) This production had backdrops and staircase, and rolling tenements…Hard to imagine how this can all be packed up for a traveling show.
Annie continues at Wharton Center through December 21.WhartonCenter.com1-800 WhartonTickets from $34