Sunday, December 13, 2009

Christmas ANNIE

Fio and Husband drove off through the winter darkness Friday night to see ANNIE at Georgetown's Palace Theater. The show was an enjoyable respite from the pressures of the holiday season. Sometimes constructing glittering deer, climbing the ladder again and again to adjust a recalcitrant cardboard bird, and discovering the dog has eaten all the candy canes gets a little old.

The cast was huge, although it was fun to spot the same actors showing up as different characters from time to time. To complicate matters, there were three different casts, probably because of the large number of children involved. Fio has no idea which cast she saw because she forgot to bring home her program, but she was impressed that the girl who played Annie, who has to carry the show, didn't flub a single line, sang on pitch, and kept her smile going.

Of course, everyone's favorites were the character roles, like Rooster and Lily. Fio adored the Hannigan-Rooster-Lily "Easy Street" combo.

In the back of her mind, Fio was still running the movie, which was richer than the play. First off, Carol Burnet owns the Miss Hannigan role, and there's little any actress can do to take it any further. Second, the movie added in other iconic characters, like Punjab and The Asp. Third, the movie featured dog Sandy, while the play uses him only for two scenes, then drops him like he's been carted off to the pound.

The theater was stuffed, SRO, which was a bit claustrophobic, but Fio survived. About a third of the audience gave the play a standing ovation, but Fio and Husband remained in their seats. ANNIE was enjoyable, nice holiday fare, but not spectacular.

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