City of La MiradaAnnie is not a great musical, but it is a pleasant one. It has a decent film version that has made a strong impression on the public mind, particularly the strong turn by Carol Burnett. McCoy-Rigby has brought some first rate theater to La Mirada. Sadly, this is not an example. This musical is energetic, but that is all that can be said about it. In fact, at times it is frantic. It seems to hope that volume can substitute for talent. The children are cute, but fall into the “loud” is best, school of acting. They mug for the audience in predictable ways. Of course Annie is the key to the musical, and McCoy-Rigby has found a darling girl for the role. However, her singing is uncertain and she lacks the star-power the part needs. The actor playing Daddy Warbucks is bad, very bad. When he arrived, I thought, “At last. The grown-ups.” Instead, I was treated to one of the most underplayed parts in La Mirada theater history. One could not have cared less about his character. His singing was pleasant, but not inspired, which is a good summary of the entire musical. Characters like Miss Hannigan seemed to channel their movie equivalents and engaged in some of the most shameless hamminess I have seen in some time. Most of the characters behaved in predictable ways. Even the sets were pedestrian. In short, this is not what we have come to expect from McCoy-Rigby. One should get something better than community theater for the prices paid. . . and this was not much better than a good hearted high school production. Pass on this production. It is a stinker and that is too bad.
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