Photos Courtesy Diamond Head Theatre
Annie, one of the best-loved family musicals of all time takes center stage at Diamond Head Theatre, now through Dec. 30. The story of a little orphan girl with curly red hair (Annie) who wins the heart of a lonely old billionaire (Daddy Warbucks) may be familiar to adults, but, surprisingly the sweet tale is new to most kids who don’t have access to the classic VHS box taped version, starring Carol Burnett as Miss Hannigan. I learned this after repeatedly quizzing my 12-year-old niece on our way to the show, while shaking my head in disbelief. Either way, my niece and my 7-year-old son enjoyed it.
Seven kids, from as young as 8 years old, play the orphans. Riley Newton has a beautiful voice and plays Annie well, though she isn’t as tough as the rough-and-tumble Annie that I remember. Kiara Reeves (Molly), one of the youngest actresses on stage, received applause for her charming performance and tap dance. But, Sandy, the dog, was the hands-down favorite for my niece and son—and, surprisingly, the dog didn’t stray off stage.
The children’s reprise of “You’re Never Fully Dressed Without a Smile” was my personal favorite song-and-dance number. But, every song will make you want to sing out loud, especially “Tomorrow” and “Hard Knock Life”—this one my niece had heard of, thanks to the Jay-Z rap rendition.
If you haven’t taken your kids to the theater before, this production would be a good introduction to musicals. While there are a couple slow songs that make it difficult for young ones to sit still, the upbeat energy of Annie will mesmerize and entertain.
I recommend the early showings, or a nap before going. For info and tickets, visit diamondheadtheatre.com.