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Standing ovation for “Annie” opening night at The Wick

Sally Struthers as a hissy Miss Hannigan and her nemesis “little girls” stole the show at The Wick’s “Annie” opening night.

The Broadway musical runs through Dec. 23 at the professional theater on Federal Highway if you haven’t been there before.

The “All in the Family” actress hisses and whistle blows her way through the Miss Hannigan role. Even her socks are funny. The audience belly-laughed her every move. Worth the ticket price just to see her dismantle a doll.

Executive producer Marilynn Wick told the audience the orphans were locals. That means there’s enough talent here to satisfy an audience used to New York theater. The kids were a great ensemble. But the youngest and smallest, Emily Jewel Hoder, stood out.

Not to ignore Daddy Warbucks and Annie herself. Both George Dvosrsky and Peyton Ella have major theatrical credits. It shows. His includes Broadway and she was on NBC’s “Sound of Music Live.” Both project good solid voices and stage presence and own their parts in the show.

A large, accomplished cast includes the familiar Equity actor Barry J. Tarallo. He re-creates President Franklin Roosevelt down to the accent and his famous cigarette holder.

Credit has to go to the costumes and sets. The screen-size projections of New York’s mean streets during The Depression add to the show. There’s no orchestra pit, so live music remains off-stage. Even the dog Sandy got to take a bow in this production.

A cabaret after opening night Saturday showcased some of the young talents. Dvosrsky, aka Daddy Warbucks, emceed. But to her credit, Struthers appeared out of costume and didn’t make a grand entrance or perform. She let the kids shine on their own.

By Marci Shatzman


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