Published April 23, 2018 on www.GilroyLife.com
“Annie Jr.” breezes into Morgan Hill with the push and shove of a small hurricane. Seems every kid with talent has showed up for this one and they all deliver with gusto and liveliness. over thirty youngsters from it seems four to 12 plays an orphan or part of the mansion staff with great enthusiasm.
As director Colleen Bianchard attends to the littlest detail with the kids with Jennifer Grifall’s lively choreography and with what they do on stage brings an organized offering that is a delight to watch. Talented Tegan Leong handles the role of Annie with competence and gives it the sensitivity needed to feel for the never-say-die, optimistic character. She carries the role with the confidence of a pro. She brings in the signature song”Tomorrow ” and “Maybe” with a maturity that runs beyond her years.
Leah Grifall and Grace Farrell, Oliver Kaelin as Rooster Hannigan, James Tuttle as Oliver Warbucks, Makayla Holberg as Lily St. Regis and Isabella Rosal as Miss Hannigan all give great support.
Of course, there is Sandy, Annie’s endearing dog played by Mason Grifall and Bailey Tom who share the role, a couple of loveable golden labs that we wished we could have seen more of but I was told the dog union would not let them appear more than they did.
Titled as master carpenter in the program, Larry Tom makes magic with his solid, safe sets that bring realism to the scenes with the assistance of Colleen Blanchard, Jason Leong, Jared DeRosa, Roger Traverso, and Alex Salvatti. Costume designer Cathy Tom and Costumer Terri Hendrix as usual dress the cast with their sure touch of the time and place.
Annie Jr. has been taken from the Harold Gray comic strip character “Little Orphan Annie.” The story takes place in the ‘30s during the Great Depression with Annie as its centerpiece looking for her parents displaying her optimism and heart under the direst of circumstances. With memorable music by Charles Strouse and lyrics by Martin Charnin and book by Thomas Meehan the show is easy to listen to and enjoy.
Where: Morgan Hill Community Playhouse, 5th and Monterey Streets –Morgan Hill
When: Through May 12
Tickets: General $16-$25
Reservations and information: 408-842-SHOW or visit: www.svct.org