The sun will come out with ‘Annie’ at the Egyptian Theatre
Ziegfeld Theatre company opens run Thursday
The Ziegfeld Theater Company will bring a little sunshine to Park City when it brings it’s production of the Tony Award-winning musical “Annie” to the Egyptian Theatre.
The performances, which start March 23, will run Thursday through Sunday for two weeks.
Although the Ogden-based Ziegfeld Theater is known for fresh interpretations of plays and musicals, the take on “Annie” is pretty straightforward, said Bonnie Romney, marketing director and assistant producer.
“One of the things we like about ‘Annie’ is that it is an intergenerational experience,” Romney told The Park Record. “For a lot of people it was their first experience with musical theater when they were young. So, we felt we needed to be true to the story and that intergenerational spirit was important for us.”
Director Trent Cox shared that sentiment, Romney said.
“His vision was to carry on that ‘Annie’ tradition,” she said. “I think Trent’s vision was to get people to bring their kids to the show and get them excited about theater.”
“Annie” was a departure for Cox, whose last directed project Ziegfeld presented in Park City was “Rock of Ages.”
“This is pretty much on the other end of the spectrum in terms of content and audiences,” Romney said with a laugh. “But he’s done a fantastic job.”
“Annie,” based on the Harold Gray comic strip of the 1920s, follows the adventures of a young orphan, Annie, and her dog. Annie ultimately finds a forever home with tycoon Daddy Warbucks.
Romney believes a major part of the Ziegfeld production’s strength lies within the child actors.
“I will say that the kids in our production are very talented,” she said. “They are so fun and give great and honest performances, especially our Annies.
“That’s important to note because over the years the song ‘Tomorrow’ has become kind of like a joke because of how over done it is or how annoying it has become,” she added. “Our Annies are truly enjoyable to watch, and they have fantastic voices and personalities that don’t rub the wrong way.”
When Romney says “Annies,” she means actresses Natalie Bingham and Elizabeth Kaschmitter.
“All of the children in our production are double cast, and they are great,” Romney said. “The two who play Annie are wonderful. Many people have seen them at Pioneer
Memorial Theatre and other places.
“One of the fun things about Natalie is that her little sister Victoria plays one of the smaller orphans and it’s great to see them perform together.”
Longtime Utah actor Layne Wilden is Daddy Warbucks.
“He’s fantastic and has been seen on a lot of stages in the state,” Romney said. “He played Tevia in our ‘Fiddler on the Roof’ and we’re happy to have him come back. He has a fantastic voice and is a fantastic actor and creates a great connection between Daddy Warbucks and our Annies.”
Another Utah acting veteran, Jessica Hollingsworth, is Grace, Warbucks’ secretary.
“Jessica is a beautiful dancer and moves well on stage,” Romney said. “She’s kind of Grace personified, so she was the perfect fit for the role.”
Rounding up the main characters is Linda McKee, who portrays Miss Hannigan, the drunken orphanage matron who hates children.
“Linda is new to our stage and new to the state of Utah,” Romney said. “We love finding new performers and introducing them to our theater world. She adds that fun and wild streak in Miss Hannigan that people like to see. And we’ve got some fun costume things that happen with her in the show.”
Speaking of costumes, Romney works closely with costume designer Dee Tua’one.
“‘Annie’ is a period piece, so it was important to Dee to find pieces that fit that era,” Romney said. “I know colors are very important to him. You will see the warm colors — yellows and reds — that we associate with ‘Annie.’”
Romney’s favorite song from the musical is “It’s a Hard Knock Life.”
“I love watching our orphans perform it,” she said. “They have so much energy. There is something about it that says ‘Annie’ to me.”
Romney is also grateful Ziegfeld Theater is able to extend its “Annie” run in Park City.
“We love coming to the Egyptian Theatre,” Romney said during an interview. “We have had so many successful shows and appearances there. It’s a treat for our actors.”
Ziegfeld Theater from Ogden will present the Tony Award-winning musical “Annie” at 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturdas, March 23-25, and March 30 through April 1. There will also be Sunday performances at 6 p.m. on March 26 and April 2. The performances will be at the Egyptian Theatre, 328 Main St. Thursday tickets range from $23 to $29 and Friday and Saturday tickets range from $29 to $45. Tickets can be purchased by visiting http://www.parkcityshows.com.
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