6:30 a.m., Feb. 12)
St. Peter production of 'Annie' hits all the right notes
By Fred Sherwin
Schick and Gabrielle Banville play Daddy Warbucks
and Annie in the St. Peter Musical Theatre
production of 'Annie' on this week at the
Shenkman Arts Centre. Fred Sherwin/Photo
it comes to producing high school musicals, the St. Peter
Musical Theatre Class and director/instructor Bernard
Leger have set the gold standard, coming through year
after year with some of the most professionally staged
musical productions anywhere.
latest offering of "Annie", on this week at
the Shenkman Arts Centre, is another in a long list of
highly entertaining, wonderfully captivating musicals
that includes Les Misérables, Phantom of the Opera,
Little Shop of Horrors, Grease, and last year's Tarzan
- The Musical, which was their first production on the
big stage at the Shenkman Arts Centre.
the sound and lighting to the choreography, costumes and
backing orchestra, the St. Peter Musical Theatre production
is impeccable, and I haven't even gotten to the talented
group of young thespians who make up the cast.
Manville is perfectly cast as the red-haired orphan, even
though her tresses are more auburn than bright orange.
She plays the role with just the right combination of
cuteness and precociousness, with a great voice to boot.
especially shines during her solos "Same Effect on
Everyone", and everyone's Annie favourite "Tomorrow".
standout is Meg Barbeau who plays Warbucks personal assistant
Grace. While the role doesn't include any solo performances,
Barbeau's voice stood out during the numbers she performed
in with the others.
three male leads -- Mitchell Schick as Daddy Warbucks,
Liam Murphy as Rooster, and Benjamin Massey are strong,
but my highest praise is reserved for Kirsten Mainwood
who plays Miss Hanigan, the woman who runs the orphanage.
Annie is the main character, Miss Hannigan is the one
who draws the broadest range of emotions from the audience,
and Mainwood does a remarkable job playing the villainess.
One minute she has you laughing out loud and the next
you want to boo her.
has great chops as well as evident by her solo performance
of "Little Girls" and "Easy Street",
which she performed with Murphy and Caitlin Munro who
plays Rooster's accomplice Lily St. Regis.
lead cast was rounded out by teacher Martin Couturier
who plays President Roosevelt.
good as the main cast was, the production's strongest
moments were during the ensemble numbers which rank among
the best I've heard in any previous St. Peter Musical
opening performance of "It's a Hard Knock Life"
was off the charts and it continued with "I Think
I'm Gonna Like It Here", "N.Y.C." and "You
Won't Be an Orphan for Long".
the actors were all wonderful, the man who brings it all
together is Bernard Leger who took on the added responsibility
of orchestra conductor this year along with director and
still have two more nights to see the play for yourself.
Curtain time Friday night and Saturday night is 7 p.m.
Tickets are $15 for general seating and $20 for premier
seating including surcharges and can be purchased at the
Shenkman Arts Centre box office or online at www.shenkmanarts.ca.
story was made possible thanks to the generous support
of our local business partners.)
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