Robert Newman’s character transitions believably from the gruff, enormously rich and influential Oliver Warbucks to the openly affectionate “Daddy.” This is in large part due to Newman’s seeming lack of celebrity ego and to the positive onstage chemistry between Newman and his young co-star.
Newman is believable as a successful, no-nonsense businessman with time for little but work when we first meet his character. We watch him mellowing before our eyes as his character goes from bellowing his disgust at President Roosevelt to humbly asking for the president’s help on Annie’s behalf.
Finally, we watch him opening himself to the charms of his winsome assistant, played by Becca Vourvoulas, and expressing completely believable affection for Annie.
Newman brings star power to Fayetteville, having appeared for 28 seasons as Joshua Lewis on the longrunning TV program “Guiding Light” among many of his stage, film and television credits. Yet there was no sense of his celebrity status evident onstage at CFRT on opening night. He is a generous actor. He commanded the stage when appropriate to his character and managed to be just another member of the cast whenever the script called for some other character to take center stage.
Written by PRUDENCE MAINOR
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