|Annie (Hannah Gundersheim) and Oliver Warbucks (Steve Bryan)|
Ticket prices for Annie were $24 each, and that got us great seats in the second row. The amateur performers (and by amateur I mean only that they were unpaid -- the cast was truly professional in every other sense) were accompanied by recorded instrumentals rather than by a live orchestra, and the sets and costumes were obviously a low or no-budget affair. Yet the energy at Theatre Charlotte was electric, from the moment we entered the lobby until the last curtain call. The child actors were fantastic, especially the little girl who plays Molly and Hannah Gundersheim as Annie. Set Designer Chris Timmons and Costumer Jamie Varnadore did a fantastic job transporting us all to the Depression era. I especially enjoyed the projected skyscrapers on the walls of the theatre, surrounding the audience and making us all feel that we were right in the thick of a bustling Manhattan thoroughfare for the "NYC" number.
So, for all you Charlotteans out there, whether you have young children or not, I highly recommend that you make it a priority to see Annie before the show closes at the end of September, as well as any of the other upcoming Theatre Charlotte performances this season. Even if you don't live in the Charlotte area, there's probably a community theatre in your neck of the woods, too. Check them out! It's a great way to support the arts at the grass roots level, and an affordable opportunity to enjoy live theatre.
By the way, all you designers and drapery workrooms -- you know all those fabric scraps you've been hoarding that are too beautiful to throw away, but you really don't have any use for them? Consider donating them to your local community theatre group! If you have donations of gently worn vintage evening wear, suits, hats, gloves, sewing supplies, or fabrics that could be repurposed for costumes, contact Jamey Varnadore at (704) 840-5218, or send him an email to Jamey@varnadore.com.