The musical "Annie" is familiar to almost everyone, the story of a young, redheaded orphan girl who went to visit billionaire Oliver Warbucks and his dancing and singing staff for Christmas and ended up finding both a family and ending the Great Depression.

It is a true classic and a sweet story, where a young girl defeats the odds, including Miss Hannigan, the troublesome operator of the orphanage, her brother, Rooster, and his lady friend, Lily.

The recent performance at Our Lady of Good Counsel High School opened with the orchestra beautifully playing the opening number and the curtains parting to reveal a well decorated set full of little girls attempting to sleep, before one of them screamed out in horror at a bad dream. When Annie (Christine Gosney) appeared, however, the conflict was resolved, despite sound problems, and the audience was instantly ensnared.

The first act began a little awkwardly, with the band not always being ready to cue the cast to start songs and dances or complete routines.

However, the comedic timing was perfect, and the audience never missed a laugh, whether coming from the thoroughly annoyed Miss Hannigan (Tessa Raden) or from the sophisticated world of Daddy Warbucks (Phil Cooke, who brilliantly portrayed a man who doesn't know what to do with Annie).

The show kept getting steadily better, with large smiles from Gosney and a magical voice from Warbucks's secretary, Grace (Laura Semple). The second act was full of comedic moments, which the audience heartily enjoyed, especially from President Franklin D. Roosevelt (Seth Gorman). Other laugh-out-loud acts included anything that involved Miss Hannigan, who was under constant torture from the mischievous girls, and her associates, Rooster (Ian Jurlano) and Lily (Alexis Abraham), particularly when they received their just reward in the end.

Dance numbers were also much improved in the second act. The awkward flow of nervousness became ease of movement, and the ensemble numbers improved as the night went on. Sound and lighting mishaps absolutely disappeared, and the actors' stellar comedic timing and acting ability continued to shine brightly.

Once it overcame a few difficulties, Good Counsel's performance was good and after a somewhat awkward first act became absolutely thrilling in the second. The talented crew and cast made it possible.

Sarah Moses

Einstein High School