note: entire contents copyright 2008 by Janine de Souza
Fans of Sally Struthers beware! You are in for the most delightful shock of your life when Sally Struthers storms the stage in ANNIE which is currently playing at the Reagle Players in Waltham. Best known for her role as Gloria in “All in the Family,” Struthers completely and convincingly transforms herself from Daddy’s little girl into the devilishly evil “Ms. Hannigan” who manages a rundown orphanage in New York City during the Great Depression. But Ms. Struthers is all grown up and not taking it anymore! She ups the ante to Hannigan’s idiosyncrasies by adding wild gestures and some brilliant improvised lines. What a refreshing change from those just mimicking Carol Burnett!
But she was not the only one who dazzled that night! Perfectly cast, each actor glistened as ANNIE unfolded. Truly deserving of mention were Isabelle Miller, as the silver-tongued and resourceful Annie, Terry Runnels as the gruff yet loveable Oliver Warbucks, Sarah Pfisterer as the smart and elegant secretary Grace, Bob Fitch as Hannigan’s delightfully delinquent brother “Rooster”, Beverly Ward as Rooster’s high-pitched floozy Lily, and finally Scott Wahle of Channel 4 fame as Franklin D. Roosevelt. Who knew Scott Wahle could act and sing, but he can! It was a night filled with wonderful surprises for everyone.
All in all, the Reagle production was uplifting and engaging under Bob Fitch’s expert direction so don’t wait another day to catch it. “Tomorrow” never looked so good!