Sloane Wolfe, Eve Johnson, Michelle Henderson, Gabby Beredo, Lauren Sun, Beth Leavel. Photo by Evan Zimmerman for MurphyMade.
All she needs to do is ask Beth Leavel (The Drowsy Chaperone), who plays Miss Hannigan to her precocious Annie. As one of the best thing in this show, Leavel squeezes out every comedic moment available to her, just as she did in the very typical mother role in Bandstand, and adds her own distinct twist of villain-ness to each and every scene. She can belt it out of the park whenever she wants to, but she also knows how to pull it in when more intimacy is required (although I must admit this part doesn’t ask for much quietness). Her moment of stepping away into her office from Warbucks secretary was Hazel’s favorite moment in the show. She and I just loved this Miss Hannigan, even if the orphans don’t. Her “Little Girls” is perfection, and she personally pulls “Easy Street” up from the gutter of mediocracy with a snarl and kick. The orchestra, lead by music supervisor and director Jeffrey Saver (Broadway’s Allegiance) sound great and pull us into this feisty song. The other two in that number, Kim Sava (Goodspeed’s Guys and Dolls) as Lily St. Regis and Cooper Grodin (Vancouver Opera’s Evita) as the slimy Rooster do a fine job, but they aren’t directed into anything noticeable. Their number, one of my favorites, is enjoyable as almost all these numbers are, but I guess I was just hoping for something a wee bit more from the director of these orphans and their counter-parts.
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