Ziegfeld Theater is what all theaters should strive to be like. Warm, inviting and a cast and crew that doesn’t settle for anything less than perfection. I took my daughters, Hunter (9) and Scout (4), to see Ziegfeld’s production of Annie. The children in this production wowed from the opening number to the closing scene. Each little orphan met her mark, made the crowd laugh and served up a performance worthy of any big stage. Some of the orphan actors were quite young, so it was incredible to see them belt it out while dancing and performing across the entire stage.
Linda McKee as Miss Hannigan was a riot, she played the part of the boozy broad with humor and grace and not in a cheesy over the top way. Jessica Hollingsworth and Layne Willden as Grace and Mr.Warbucks commanded the stage and made the audience let out a collective ‘aww’ at times. But, it was without a doubt, Elizabeth Kaschmitter who ruled the stage. I was utterly captivated the entire production as she belted out number after number with ease. It is clear that this girl was born to be on stage and I anticipate there are big things in her future.
I have to hand it to the set designer who helped to transport us all to an orphanage, central park and an extravagant mansion. The thing that sets Ziegfeld apart as a high-quality theater rather than just a small local theater is the attention to detail in all of their productions. You actually believe you are a part of the scene and sometimes even forget you are watching a play.
Since I brought my daughters (I will admit, the 4-year-old crashed 10 minutes in, but in her defense, she sugar crashed from the cotton candy), and this is a family production, I wanted to get their opinion about Annie as well.
M: What was your favorite part of the play Annie?
H: When the billionaire adopted Annie, and it turns out that Annies parents were fakes and they died so Daddy Warbucks adopts her and it was so sweet.
S: Cotton candy!!
M: What was something in the play that you thought was super cool?
H: In the play when the kids jump on the bed and dance, I thought it was so cool, and they are really good at it too, like really good.
M: What did you like about Ziegfeld Theater
H: It’s so amazing, and they have pillows so I can see because I am short so I can’t always see… oh and they had cotton candy.
S: Cotton candy!