Annabella

the sam and tony show · Ages 13+ · world premiere · United States of America

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Review by ERNEST KEARNEY

June 21, 2015 http://www.workingauthor.com/

My overall impression

Talent is a lovely thing.
Not the end all be all, but a lovely thing.
Talent tempered with ambition is something all together different. Something spectacular.
Sam Johnides and Tony Gonzalez have the promise of spectacular about them.
“Annabella” harkens back to the golden era of operas.
A travelling puppeteer, (Gonzalez) haunted by an unnamed guilt and tormented by the accusing voices of his puppets is driven over the edge of sanity where he is lost within the darkness of his own soul.
He is brought before Annabella (Kimberly Hessler) some claim she is “a healer”, others whisper of witchcraft.
She is able to revive him, and in doing so senses his troubled soul. She undertakes to free him of his unspoken demons, unaware of the cost it will bring down on the two of them.
As the tortured puppeteer, Gonzalez convinces you of his agony. He brings a strong presence to the stage and a stronger voice. Hessler sings beautifully as well and she and Gonzalez work wonderfully together. One has the sense the show benefited from a firm directorial hand, if this is so then the credit goes to Carol Vaness.
While “Annabella” is hardly a perfect work, it is nevertheless an impressive one. Gonzalez and Johnides have provided a strong and well crafted piece that speaks of great promise.

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