Review: Annie Was a Smash Hit!


Beth Zitterbart

The stars of Annie take in a well-deserved ovation during the final number of the play. Annie played to sold out shows for six straight days last week at Bellwood-Antis.

The musical Annie, which played to sold-out shows at Bellwood-Antis May 6-11, was a huge hit.

Before the musical began, Director Mr. Dick Bower said himself, “When you leave the musical, the audience will definitely be entertained. There’s not one dull moment. If you show up having a bad day, this play will give you the opportunity to forget and have a smile on your face.”

Bower was right. There was not a dull moment and it was humorous throughout.

Mr. Bower did a great job finding actors that fit their parts, none more so than freshman Grace Misera. Grace did a wonderful job as Annie. She was masterful at using facial expressions to make the crowd laugh. She was positive throughout the play, even when it came to finding her long lost parents. Her experience from her time on Broadway as a youngster shined through.

Casey Gray was the serious, rich, Daddy Warbucks. He opened his heart to Annie and touched the audience with a few heart-to-heart moments.  Vocally, he was outstanding.

Katelyn Shaulis played Miss Hannigan, and she brightened up the auditorium with humor, imitating the inebriated head of the orphanage. She was mean to the children, funny delivering her lines, and her singing was reminiscent of  the Miss Hannigan in the movie Annie.

Mara Lundburg, Daddy Warbucks’ assistant, had a powerful  singing voice. It was as good as any voice on the stage.

Owen Worthing and Alaynna Roberts  provided humor and great dancing.  They were the couple that was always looking for ways to get money.

The enormous cast of orphans added a touch of cuteness to the musical.

The orchestra, directed by Alan Wolfe, the middle school music director, did a professional job, not surprising considering the quality of musicians that played in the pit, including high school band director Pat Sachse, middle school guidance counselor Jim Rumbarger and 2013 BA alum Dylan Albright.

The entire experience was by far the best musical anyone could expect coming from a small school, but that has become the tradition at Bellwood-Antis under the guidance of Mr. Bower, who was directing his final play.  He plans to retire at the end of the year.

Congratulations to everyone involved.