SHE'S cute, spunky, optimistic and hasn't aged a day.
The timeless tale of little orphan Annie opened to a standing ovation at Brisbane's Queensland Performing Arts Centre last night.
Producer John Frost has succeeded in bringing this Broadway classic back to life with colourful sets and a superb Australian cast.
Brisbane local Chloe Teale had the honour of playing Annie, a role she shares with Jazmine May and Anita Munro, on opening night.
As well as singing, dancing and holding her own opposite some of Australia's greatest theatrical actors, Teale also did a great job of looking after her canine co-star Sandy.
As a show that relies so heavily on its young cast, the production is lucky to have such a talented bunch of girls playing the rambunctious orphans.
The girls support a star-studded adult cast, including Anthony Warlow as Oliver "Daddy" Warbucks, Todd McKenney as Rooster, Julie Goodwin as Grace Farrell, Alan Jones as Franklin D Roosevelt and Nancye Hayes as Miss Hannigan
After his commanding performance in Doctor Zhivago, it's nice to see Warlow in a lighter role that still showcases his silky smooth voice.
I recommend sitting fairly close to the stage, if you can, to catch all of Warlow's fun and cheeky facial expressions, particularly when he's interacting with Annie.
Nancye Hayes is a pure delight as the alcoholic orphanage matron Miss Hannigan.
Her performance in Little Girls was a major highlight of the show for me and she holds her own in the choreography-heavy Easy Street alongside McKenney and Chloe Dallimore (Lily St Regis).
Annie plays QPAC's Lyric Theatre Tuesdays through Sundays through May 13. Tickets start from $75.90. For more information visit the QPAC website.
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