Baltimore is just as good as Broadway! I went to see a play and enjoy dinner on Sunday December 11, 2011 at Toby’s Dinner Theatre located inside the Best Western Hotel on 5625 O’Donnell Street just off Interstate 95. The whole Toby’s experience is a must attend, for individuals, couples, friends, families, churches and any large group organizations alike.
Toby’s Dinner Theatre offers a spacious dining area with a nonstop disappointing view of the stage from every seat on the dining floor. Toby’s has a delicious buffet including hand carved and hand served ham, turkey and roast beef. The food menu items that stood out included the homemade mac and cheese and chicken and stuffing dish. They have a twenty-five item fresh salad bar, desserts such as cheese cake, carrot cake and a make your own sundae bar with three types of ice cream and topping like caramel and chocolate syrup. The dining tables are numbered and tables are called to the buffet by number. The salad bar is open for all without a number call. The dining takes place during a one and a half hour time window. After that time frame, the food is pulled from the buffet, salad from salad bar and sundae from sundae bar! However, the theatre house offers a full cash bar, complimentary tea, coffee and water are also served in abundance throughout the whole dining and theatre experience.
You can enjoy a performance for evening or matinée. Click here for performance showtimes: For cost of the shows click here:
Annie was a book written by Thomas Meehan. The book took to the Broadway stage in 1977. The play has a satire based on the Depression Era of 1933. The plot of the story makes way to a society where all the characters are trying to find the road to easy street also known as the playground of the rich and famous. Maybe ‘easy street’ is a life free from poverty and inequality in classism through gender, race and religion. Annie is the star of the play and life is seen through the eyes of this 11-year-old orphaned little girl in search of completeness. I believe everybody is traveling on a journey toward completeness looking for their own version of ‘easy street’ in their own little way.
The storyline makes references to major events during political and social transformation in the US. One major reference implies the transformation of children in society from child labor into public educational systems. The story line also references President Franklin Roosevelt implying that the optimum of Annie influenced his idea for the New Deal. The new Deal was a major part of President FDR’s contribution to the American political system. The New Deal was a series of economic growth programs implemented in the US 1933 and 1936. Toby’s rendition of Annie in 2011 seems just as real and relevant as the times of 1933.
Answers for Acting
Annie played by Maya Brettell: 11-year-old redheaded orphan girl, full of hope, whose one goal in life is to find her parents that abandoned her at an orphanage. Maya does well in her performance displaying courage and teamwork as she blends and transforms among a variety of different actors during different play scenes.
Miss Hannigan played by Tina DeSimone: The alcoholic orphanage house Mother also known as Miss Hannigan is verbally abusive and neglectful to the orphanages. Tina brings humor and wit to the play. She entertains by displaying the most humor throughout the play with her comedic style and personality.
Oliver “Daddy” Warbucks played by David Bosley-Reynolds: Warbucks is Billionaire businessman who seeks to adopt Annie giving her a place to call home and a piece of his heart such a perfect combination. I must admit, David stole the show on and off the stage. David brought an entertaining dramatic edge to the play. Not to mention, he was the best dining server of the evening. Talk about a great guy with a mixture of humble pie and authoritative class.
Grace Farrell played by Heather Marie Beck: Warbucks’ sidekick secretary adds like glue as a great supporting piece of the play.
“Rooster” Hannigan played by Matthew Scleigh: Matthew does a great job as Miss Hannigan’s con artist brother, jump starting the singing of the song ‘Easy Street.’ Matthew performs well as a clever character and great dancer.
Franklin D. Roosevelt played by Alan Hoffman: Alan did an excellent job of displaying President FDR of the United States, he character is close friends with Warbucks. Not to mention, Alan delivers the image that FDR really cared about the need of everyday people. Alan is pushed around and moves well in a wheelchair.
A-ha moments you had to be there moments: Sanny an abandoned fluffy black and white dog that Annie finds at a homeless shelter is played by a real live dog and appears in several scenes on stage. A great clap on clap off scene of Christmas lights. Annie, Daddy Warbucks and Grace take a stroll off stage onto the dining area while singing a song in the audience dining area.
The transformation of the stage from one scene to another was quickly and artfully done. The stage background scenes were lively, festive and believable.
The play performance of Annie started on November 7, 2011 and ends on January 8, 2012. You have three weeks left to catch the show, enjoy. Yes, Baltimore is just as good as Broadway! Annie is a must see for yourself. Toby’s Dinner & Show was terrifically deliciously entertaining for the annie performace this winter.