Annie puts a smile on your face

Author: Jen Amosa

Published: April 10th 2017

Nelson Youth Theatre’s opening night production of Annie was a show everyone involved in can feel proud of.

An unashamedly sweet and sentimental family musical, the plot revolves around little orphan Annie who is saved from living in a sordid orphanage run by Miss Hannigan and who goes to live with feisty billionaire Oliver Warbucks.  

All of the leads were competent. Michaela Carruthers gave a great performance in the title role. Her gutsy singing voice and characterisation were right on the mark and she had great diction; I didn’t miss a word.  Bri Wier played every moment of the drunken villainess Miss Hannigan with relish; her rendition of ‘Little Girls’ was a highlight for me.  

Liam Brennan as Daddy Warbucks gave it his all and handled his role with aplomb.

Sunday nights ‘orphan team’ were great and I must make special mention of eight-year-old Elise Morton who was most impressive as ‘Molly’.  

You could feel the enjoyment of the whole cast radiating off the stage as they all sang their hearts out.  

The direction by Richard Carruthers and Jessica Lively kept the action moving at a lively pace and the thunderous applause from the audience when acknowledging musical director and pianist Margy Wallace demonstrated their appreciation of her skills on the piano.  

Costuming and set pieces were appropriate and although there were a few technical problems with sound on opening night, I’m sure the Youth Theatre team will be working to resolve these issues. 

As a song from the show states “you’re never fully dressed without a smile” and I left the theatre with a big smile on my face.  What more could you ask for?