No matter what the attraction, going to The Fox Theater during the holiday season is always a treat. The color, the decorations and the richness of the venerable theater’s regal flair make it seem like you are visiting a very magical, majestic world, and you are.
Currently on stage at The Fox through Sunday December 7th is a touring production of the winningest kid’s show in decades, “Annie.”
Since it first opened on Broadway in April of 1977, “Annie” has been winning the hearts of three generations of kids and families. The engagement this week at The Fox should be no exception. Historical note: the original Annie on Broadway, Andrea McArdle, turned 51 on November 14th.
The story of some hard scrapple depression era orphanage kids in New York, City based on the much-loved comic strip “Little Orphan Annie” by Harold Gray, this company features 9-year-old Issie Swickle as Annie, the youngster who wins the heart of the world’s most prominent billionaire, Olive Warbucks, played by Gilgamesh Taggett.
Bogus parents and a crocked matron who runs the orphanage can’t keep Annie from finding herself a family and helping President Roosevelt extricate the Country from the throes of economic catastrophe. There’s a fine children’s ensemble playing the other orphans and a serviceable adult supporting cast.
This company of “Annie” is a non-Equity group, meaning cast members are not members of the professional actor’s union, Actor’s Equity. Somewhat of a battle is currently being waged on this issue. Producers want lower costs and therefore hire non-union performers, many without major level theater credits, while still charging patrons top ticket prices. Booking theaters like The Fox get caught in the middle. Sometimes ticket purchasers don’t always get their money’s worth. On opening night, this company of “Annie” finished on a strong note after a less than impressive start. But the positive, optimistic score is still as endearing as ever, as is Sunny the terrier in the role of Sandy.