THEATER REVIEW: “Annie” @ Mac-Haydn Theatre [Berkshire on Stage]

 Rieleigh Smith as Annie with Matty as Sandy
Rieleigh Smith as Annie with Matty as Sandy

Review by Lisa Jarisch

Surely there is no better cure for melancholy that approaches as the curtain descends on the summer theater season than a healthy dose of rambunctious orphans, a rags to riches story, a guaranteed happy ending…AND a dog. The Mac-Haydn Theatre fills the prescription to a “T”…or in this case, an “A,” with Annie closing out its 50th anniversary season .

Producing Artistic Director John Saunders has directed another gem of a production, perfectly set in the round confines of the Mac. He flawlessly guides orphans, billionaires, scoundrels, Cabinet members and even a U.S. President with a deft hand, creating a joyous, energized and, of course, ultimately happy-ever-after tribute to optimism and the pursuit of prosperity.

Overall the show fully demonstrates the quality of his directing talents, but Saunders especially deftly maneuvers the ensemble cast to create composed and posed vignettes of 1930s New York in the midst of the Great Depression. From the opening montage of the streets of New York, to “Hooverville” to the triumphant paean to “NYC,” the images are crisp, clean and impactful. Costuming by Jimm Halliday adds just the right texture and character to the production.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

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