My NY Trip of course included some Broadway adventures! Heres what I thought of the two shows I saw
I chose to go to this show because of the cast, it’s what made it stand out from all the other offerings, especially as it was still in previews. It stars Jessica Chastain, Dan Stevens (Matt Crawley of Downton Abbey fame) and David Strathain. I was very happy to discover that the show itself was absolutely charming and it was a delightful night at the theatre.
The story is set in 1850 and it chronicles an awkward and shy heiress and her disappointments both with her fathers and suitors. Although an old story, and in theory dated in topic as women have more freedom now – the underlying themes of family relations, deceit and the quest to be independent are universal and still applicable in 2012.
Apart from the excellent performances of the three listed leads, I loved Judith Ivey as the lead characters aunt. She provided some wonderful comic relief.
The only negative thing I heard from the people I went to see it with is that Jessica Chastain is too pretty to play the title character. It is true, however she does a great performance of modifying her body and posture to make you believe that she is awkward and ungrateful. In pictures i had seen she wore a prosthetic nose, but when we went to see the play she was without it.
I am preempting this review by saying that I love Annie! I sing Maybe in the shower and I totally believe that you are Never Fully Dressed Without a Smile. Also I directed Annie while I was in High School and it holds a place in my heart. With this forewarning that I am a fan, I have to say that I was really dissapointed with this show and I was very much looking forward to it.
What killed it for me is that unfortunately the girl who plays Annie, Lila Crawford, was out of the show the day we went and her understudy, Taylor Richardson, was playing Annie. She was just not good in my eyes. Her voice was grating and annoying, she was sharp on half the songs and she just didn’t have the charisma required to carry the show (and be the adorable orphan). I also would have loved the show to be revised in some way. It is the classic original show, but I would have added lets go to the movies instead
There were some good elements to the show. Katie Finneran as Miss Hannigan was excellent, and she brought her own spin to the part. I also enjoyed the scenery, specially the cleverly crafted home of Mr. Warbucks that looked like they were flipping a page in a book, whenever they changed rooms.