Annie at Milwaukee Theatre
Annie, Miss Hannigan and Daddy Warbucks have returned to Milwaukee in Annie, the eternally optimistic musical based on Harold Gray’s comic strip, Little Orphan Annie. The 1977 show, by Charles Strouse, Martin Chernin and Thomas Meehan garnered multiple Drama Desk and Tony Awards and ran more than 2000 performances on Broadway. The show lives on in productions in many languages worldwide.
The impressive sets (including a grand circular staircase and an enormous Christmas tree), costumes, seven-piece orchestra, choreography and powerful voices in the production that that ran Friday and Saturday at the Milwaukee Theatre upheld Annie’s illustrious history. Madison Kerth portrayed the sassy, little red-headed title character, and that informed her interpretation of “Tomorrow,” the show’s iconic song. Kerth and the show as a whole played bigger than life, like the comic strip that inspired the show. Sandy, Annie’s trusty canine companion, behaved perfectly on cue.
The great moment in this musical comes in the second act, in a scene set on Christmas Eve. Annie and Daddy Warbucks connect as one orphan to another and sing “I Don’t Need Anyone But You.” This endearing connection carries the moral of the story: Without someone to share your life with, money provides little compensation. As Daddy Warbucks claims, “My world was an oyster, but where was my pearl? Who would need me just for me?”