Carrot-top moppet Annie is back on Broadway, whoop-de-do, in all her saccharine simplicity. Nothing wrong with that. Nothing special either. If you have kids who haven’t seen the buoyant, finely-tuned musical, go for it! And go for your wallet, too, if not the mortgage on your house, to pay for tix. (Orchestra seats have risen more than 1,000% in the past half-century.)
Only 45 minutes from Broadway, though, think of the changes it brings. At Hudson Stage, in Woodward Hall Theater on the Briarcliff Manor campus of Pace University in Westchester County, a $35 ticket ($30 for seniors, students) will afford you a close-up, clear line-of-sight no matter where you are seated in the intimate, stadium-style performance space.
You won’t find Annie frolicking here, or anything equally predictable and paper-thin. Hudson Stage specializes in professional theater for the thinking theater-goer who says, “Go ahead, surprise me, mesmerize me.” If there’s a Hudson Stage production that didn’t deliver convincingly on both counts, I’ve yet to see it.
That goes especially for what’s now on its boards, Stones in his Pockets, directed by Dan Foster, who produced it with Denise Bessette and Olivia Sklar. The surprise starts when the only two actors at entrance proceed to essay a full cast of a dozen characters.