Little orphan Annie is back with a brand new, feel good production.
A raucous revival happily hitting all the right notes at the Liverpool Empire and with cracking choreography - notably a terrific tap dancing scene.
The lighting and set design of a massive jigsaw puzzle provide stunning visual images.
This is the story of an 11-year-old girl in the American 30s depression pression era which is the backdrop to a rags to riches musical.
New Yorker Annie is sent to an orphanage run by mean-spirited Miss Hannigan - a real harridan with a hair style worse than Donald Trump.
Orphan Annie is then given the opportunity to spend the Christmas with sugar daddy - Oliver Warbucks.
Miss Hannigan is horrified and wants to ruin Annie's chance of happiness. Her shyster brother and his dumb moll girlfriend provide the laughs.
Alex Bourne plays the billionaire Daddy Warbucks with no hair but a big heart. His character is endearing from the start.
Birds of Feather star Lesley Joseph is an accomplished West End star.
She effortlessly switches from her television sitcom role as man-eater Dorien Green to panto-esque , boozy child hater Hannigan.
Annie is played with total confidence and just lhe right balance of impish humour and sentimentality by Anya Evans.
The role of Annie and her six orphan room mates rotate in teams of three.
On her big number Tomorrow,- while standing next to a cute canine called Sandy - Anya dominates the huge Empire stage.
She gave it all the emotion it demands and the dog (played by Amber) proved a favourite with the packed audience.
Other favourite songs from Charles Strouse and Martin Charnin include: It's A Hard Knock Life; Easy Street and I Don't Need Anything But You all are performed with equal glitz and gusto.
There is an Oliver Twist influence in this ever popular musical. We all know that a happy ending will change the life of our adorable heroine who wants to find her parents I have seen many versions in.the past. This is by far the best.
A polished touring production directed by Nikolai Foster with real pace, panache and stylish storytelling that will appeal to all ages.
Scenes featuring the homeless of New York made a very effective contrast to Warbuck 's self-made wealth.
A versatile energetic ensemble cast and superb orchestra make this a welcome, vibrant visit of a global smash hit piece of family entertainment.
Sunny and sparkling throughout.
Globe rating: Five stars.
The show runs until this Saturday.
Empire box office: 0844 871 3017