Generation gap? Not at Theatre By The Bay, where Lawrence F. Bloom’s musical production of “Annie,” based on Harold Gray’s comic strip “Little Orphan Annie,” runs weekends through Sunday, March 27th.
Coined in the1960s, the phrase “generation gap” describes a lack of communication and a lack of understanding between children, teens, adults, and seniors. But the multi-generational cast of this unique production of “Annie” brings actors of all ages together. The camaraderie among the youngsters and not-so-youngsters can’t be missed.
Isabel Robin, age 11, steals hearts in the title role. Some of her best scenes are played with Jean Ann Kump (Miss Hannigan) and John Canning (Oliver Warbucks), both many years her senior.
Teen members of the ensemble, including Gina Dunay from Cardozo High School and Lauren Twomey from Floral Park Memorial High School, perform seamlessly beside grandmothers B’Jai Pierce-Astwood and Sue Fiebert.
The huge age range onstage is mirrored by the varied enthusiastic members of the audience. A glance during intermission makes note of a proud great-grandfather sitting beside the fifth-grade BFF of one of the musical’s orphans.
Do you agree that community theatre enjoys the luxury of a multi-aged cast of characters–something professional troupes do not routinely explore? Or does this “everyone welcome” attitude foster mediocre performances? Let us know.
Oh, catch their show at 13-00 209th Street (Bay Terrace Jewish Center). Call (718) 428-6363 for info.