Royal City Musical Theatre

Dates and Venue 10 – 26 April 2014, Wed – Sat 8pm (Sat & Sun matinees at 2pm) | Massey Theatre, 735 Eighth Avenue, New Westminster

Director /Choreographer Valerie Easton Musical Director James Bryson Costume Design Christina Sinosich Lighting Design Gerald King Sound Designer Tim Lang Projection Designer Alex House Stage Manager Ingrid Turk

Reviewer Cassie Silva

Walking into this production, I worried that perhaps I was too familiar with this beloved musical and wouldn’t take anything new from this particular version.

Leapin’ Lizards! I was wrong.

Royal City Musical Theatre added so much humour and so many inside jokes the audience was kept chuckling when they weren’t busy singing along. The sets were stunning and the set changes flawless, and the on-stage talent impressive. The sound bits and projections brought an entirely new feel to this familiar classic.

12-year-old Julia MacLean was delightful as the title orphan and really belted out the hits. MacLean’s real-life little sister, Jaime, stole the show as the charming “Molly” and tied the Dachshund who played Sandy for audience favourite. Mike Kovac (Rooster) and Laura McNaught (Lily St. Regis) gave great character performances as the delightfully wicked duo who plot to steal Annie away.

Caitlin Clugston managed to bring just the right dash of exasperation to the role of mean orphanage director Miss Hannigan that caused some audience members like myself to even feel a bit sorry for her. Steve Maddock and R.G. (Ron) Miller brought warmth and humour to their roles of Oliver Warbucks and Franklin D. Roosevelt, respectively.

Annie is the perfect play to bring your kids to, and many young audience members were actively engaged – calling out in dismay when things looked bad for our redheaded heroine and squealing in glee when (spoiler alert!) things turned right again.

Don’t wait til’ “Tomorrow” to take in this charming musical!

© 2014 Cassie Silva