Thursday, October 7, 2010

Theater Thursday--Annie

My all time favorite musical, Annie will be making its way back to Broadway in 2012!! 

This was the first Broadway play that had a real impact on my childhood. I remember the larger than life theater we saw it in, the larger than life sets on the stage, the orchestra with all those shiny brass and stringed instruments with the top of the conductor's head just barely visible, his baton waving furiously. The singing, the dancing and of course the little red headed orphan that every girl my age at the time wanted to be. I remember being in elementary school and me and my friends would spend our play time in the yard to act out the play, fighting over who got to be Annie, or Duffy, or Pepper, or Molly etc. Somehow all of us knew the play inside and out. We knew the lines, the lyrics and the dance moves. I had a record of the soundtrack at home. (Yes, I did say a "record.") I used to play that album (Yes, I did say album), over and over and over again. I knew/know every song by heart. Then...THEN...the movie came out!!!! OMG. I was beside myself. I was eleven years old and Annie was now on the big screen and I sang all the songs with the movie (I think every single kid did. It was probably like the Little Shop of Horrors, which I never did get to see...I know, shame, shame. But I did see the movie! Does that count? No, I know. Not the same thing, huh? *sigh*). 

The movie Annie was/is amazing with an all star cast: Carol Burnette as Ms. Hannigan? Are you kidding me? No one does Ms. Hannigan better than her. She is absolutely BRILLIANT in this movie. Albert Finney as Daddy Warbucks, Anne Reinking as Grace Farrell (and man did she ever grace the screen with her beautiful dancing!), Tim Curry as Rooster--Amazing!!!, Burnadette Peters as Lily St. Regis ("named for the hotel"..."room service"), hello??? Burnadette friggin' Peters--total awesomeness. And then, you had songs that were made especially for the movie version so I got to learn MORE awesome songs. To this day, I can probably recite every line of every character in that movie. And now my girls are starting to get into enjoying some of the songs from it. Ahhh...a dream come true :-)

Tell me that doesn't pump you up or leave you with total goosebumps???

Annie is not just a play or a movie, it's an experience. Once you've been Annieanized, there's no turning back (Yes, I did just make up that word. Do you think I can get in the dictionary?). However, I think it's really important for it's fans (or even if you are not, it's just fascinating) to see the movie/documentary called Life After Tomorrow. It is a real eye opener behind the harsh realities of being a kid who was cast in that play. All I can say is that I'm glad as hell, I never actually got to be in that play (even though as a kid it was my ultimate dream). The first Annie in the play grew up in my building where I grew up and I met the second actress who played Annie when she came to a summer event in our building. But, now, when I look back, I can't believe what was going on with these kids and some of them to this day are probably still in therapy. Yes, it was pretty damn bad for some of them and I recommend you see this movie.


So, I'm definitely excited about this reprisal and when it comes back to the big stage it is something I must see. I'm a little ambivalent about the idea that they are reworking the script (as noted in the article below) to modernize it. It will be interesting I guess. I just hope they don't change too much. But what I do hope is that it will create a whole new love among a new generation of children to fall in love with Annie and with the theater experience as it did for me when I was a kid. It still has a huge place in my heart to this day. It just never leaves you.

Annie Is Broadway Bound Once Again in 2012

Annie Is Broadway Bound Once Again in 2012
Start humming 'Tomorrow': 'Annie' will return to Broadway in 2012.
Everyone’s favorite red-headed orphan will return to Broadway to belt her heart out in the fall of 2012. The beloved musical Annie will celebrate its 35th anniversary with a full revival, producer Arielle Tepper Madover has announced, with an updated book by Thomas Meehan. No theater, dates or casting for the production, which features music by Charles Strouse and lyrics by Martin Charnin, has been announced at this time.

Inspired by the famous comic strip Little Orphan AnnieAnnie made its Broadway debut on April 21, 1977, transferring three times and playing 2,377 performances before closing on January 2, 1983. The show won the Tony Award for Best Musical, Best Book, Best Original Score, among others, and earned Dorothy Loudon her own trophy for her performance as villainess Miss Hannigan. The subsequent film adaptation, released in 1982 and starring Albert Finney, Carol Burnett, Ann Reinking, Tim Curry, Bernadette Peters and Aileen Quinn, was nominated for two Academy Awards. The show was also filmed for television in 1999 with a cast led by Kathy Bates, Victor Garber, Alan Cumming and Kristin Chenoweth. Annie was revived in 1997 at the Martin Beck Theatre in a production that starred Nell Carter and closed after seven months.

“The script has never been touched since 1977, and our hope is to really make this revival for current audiences, so Tom is going to go to work on the book,” Madover told The New York Times. No details were given about possible changes, though Madover added, "A new creative team will look to modernize the show."

The family-friendly tale of an orphan whose hard knock life is forever changed when paired with a snappish billionaire, Annie features such showtune staples as “Maybe,” “It’s the Hard Knock Life,” “You’re Never Fully Dressed Without a Smile,” “Easy Street,” “I Don’t Need Anything But You” and “Tomorrow.”


  1. I loved Annie! I think I saw the play 3 x, the movie more.

  2. Oh, I loved Annie - the movie that is. never saw it as a play, and you're right, Carol Burnette was brilliant. I'm at work now so I can't watch the videos, but I'll try to remember to come back.

    BTW - I'm going to see Evita with my sister and nieces in a few weeks - you inspired me to see more theater. Ok, well maybe Evita is more operaish, but same dif. :)

  3.'re girl after my own heart (well, not that way, but hopefully you know what I mean). I think I saw the play 3 times as well, can't seem to recall (it was in the 70's :-)) The movie? fugetaboutit. Too many to count. Seriously, it's sad how many times I've seen that movie.

    Marie, are you anywhere near NY? Just wonderin'

    Angie, my dear sweet Angie. YAY!!!! I actually never saw Evita. I was too young to really get that show when I was younger and I had a hard time making it through the movie with Madonna's performance. Enjoy and let me know how it was!

  4. I'm an Annie lover too! However, my husband noted that this is definately fictional, since he actually spent a bit of time in an orphanage he said that Annie had it made compared to him at the time. But anywho, I still love the tale.

  5. Thanks for recommending my documentary film, Melanie. Glad you enjoyed it.

    Julie Stevens

  6. Okay, if I could insert an eye bugging emoticon...

    Thanks Julie for posting and thanks for giving us a wonderful documentary film. It was a real eye opener for me (and will be for anyone who sees it) on what really went on behind the curtain (so to speak).


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