The Caterpillar Chorus opened their 2010 Caterpillar Musical, "Annie" on Thursday night in the East Peoria High School Auditorium (Eastlight Theatre).
"Annie" is an American classic that is beloved by children and adults everywhere. I bet there are not too many people who cannot sing at least a line or two of "Tomorrow" or "It's a Hard-Knock Life".
Even though the play is so very familiar, this production still manages to make the musical fresh and fun.
With a policy of never turning down any employee who wants to participate, the annual Caterpillar Musical over the years has been hit or miss with a real stinker or two.
This show is definitely not one of those.
As a matter of fact this is one of their best productions in years!
Sally Baker does a swell job as the boozy and mean Miss Hannigan. While she held back a little on "Little Girls", when she teamed up with Jason Werner and Teresa Neptun (as Rooster and Lily), the trio really belted out "Easy Street".
John Marincic is a great Daddy Warbucks and his duet with Annie on "I Don't Need Anything But You" is a true highlight.
Nicole Barth is one of the oldest actresses that I have seen in the title role. It took me awhile to get used to an Annie that was as tall as Miss Hannigan, but Miss Barth has a lovely voice.
I will look forward to seeing her again in the near future in some adult roles.
There is, of course, the required group of orphans and the kids here really bring it home.
What's not to like about 20 little girls, each one as cute and talented as the next?
The Caterpillar Chorus has been presenting their annual musical for 69 years. At $8 a ticket, it is still one of the best live theater bargains around. For the price of a movie, you can afford to take the kids or grandkids to see this family favorite. I guarantee that they (and you) will love it. But hurry! It is a limited run only through this weekend (matinee and evening performances on Saturday and Sunday). Tickets are still available at 699-SHOW, at the Eastlight box office, or at the door.