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Annie

The musical is playing at the Palace Theatre located at 1564 Broadway at 47th street.  It runs two hours and twenty minutes with one intermission.  This is an open ended show.

Annie is based on the comic strip “Little Orphan Annie”.

The original Broadway show opened on April 2, 1977 and ran for almost six years, setting a record for the Alvin Meehan Theatre (now the Neil Simon Theatre).  Andrea McArdle (Annie), Reid Shelton (Daddy Warbucks) and Dorothy Loudon (Miss Hannigan) were in the original cast.   It was nominated for eleven Tony Awards in 1977 and won seven. It won Best Musical, Best Score (Charles Strouse and Martin Charnin), Best Book (Thomas Meehan), Best Lead Actress (Dorothy Loudon), Best Choreography (David Mitchell),  Best Scenic Design (David Mitchell) and Best Costume Design (Theoni V. Aldredge).  Sarah Jessica Parker was a replacement for Annie in this production.

The 20th anniversary revival on Broadway opened in 1997 at the Martin Beck Theatre (now the Al Hirschfeld Theatre).  It starred Nell Carter as Miss Hannigan.  There was much controversy about the commercial for this show.  Miss Hannigan is shown to being played by a white actress. The producers told Miss Carter it was too expensive to make a new commercial.  The commercial was made from the earlier production.  Sally Struthers later replaced Nell.  The revival closed on October 19, 1997 after fourteen previews and 239 performances.

Katie Finneran won a Tony Award and Drama Desk Award in 2002 for “Noises Off".  In 2010 she won a Tony Award in the revival of “Promises, Promises”.

Sunny is a two year old female found in a shelter in Houston.  She was a stray that had 48 hours to live when she was found by the “Annie Crew”.

Thomas Meehan (playwright) has won three Tony Awards for Best Book of a musical. He won for “Annie” (1977 Broadway debut), “The Producers” (2001), and “Hairspray” with Mark O’Donnell (2003).

Charles Strouse the musical composer has won three Tony Awards for Best Original Score “Annie” (1977),  Best Musical “Applause” (1970) and  Best Musical “Bye Bye Birdie”(1961).

Andy Blankenbuehlers (Choreographer) won a Tony Award and Drama Desk Award in 2008 for “In the Heights”.

James Lapine (Director) won a Tony Award for “Passion” (1994), “Falsettos” and “Into the Woods” (1998) for Best Book of a Musical.  He won a Pulitzer Prize for drama in 1995 for “Sunday in the Park with George”.  In 2010 he was inducted into the American Theatre Hall Fame.

Susan Hilferty (Costume Design) won a Tony Award, Drama Desk Award and Outer Critics Circle Award in 2006 for “Wicked” (costume design).  

Martin Charnin (Lyrics) won a Tony Award for Best Original Score and a Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Lyrics in 1977 for “Annie”. He also won a Tony Award for Best Direction of a Musical for “Annie”. In 1977 he won two Tony Awards for Best Book and Best Direction for a musical for “The First”. 

The musical takes place in New York City 1933.

Annie (Lilla Crawford) lives in an orphanage with six other girls. Her parents left her there eleven years ago with a heart pennant necklace and a note.  Miss Hannigan (Katie Finneran) runs the orphanage.  She is a mean drunk woman.  Any chance Annie gets she runs away hoping to find her parents.  On one of those escapes she meets Sandy (Sunny) the run away dog.

Olivier “Daddy” Warbucks (Anthony Warlow) tells his secretary Grace Farrell (Brynn O’Malley) to get an orphan to spend the Christmas Holiday at his home. Warbucks is a billionaire in a time when people lost all their money in the stock market crash and are homeless.  He thought Miss Farrell would bring a boy instead she brings back Annie.  Olivier comes to love Annie and wants to adopt her.

In the meantime Miss Hannigan's brother Rooster (Clarke Thornell) is up to no good concerning Annie.

If you haven’t seen the show I don’t want to spoil it.  For those of you that have you know what happens.

It still is a fun show to see. Subjects broached such as unemployment, homeless people etc. makes it feel like they are talking about 2013 not 1933.

The music is wonderful to hear again.  I forgot how good “It’s a Hard Knock Life”, "NYC" and “Tomorrow” sounded.

Anthony Harlow and Lilia Crawford work well together.  I loved their duets.

Clarke Thornell is funny as the con man brother.

Best of all is Katie Finneran.  Miss Hannigan is the women you want to hate but her voice, facial expressions and body movements make you laugh.  She is outstanding in the role. Katie has a great voice to listen to.

Hats off to Sunny or should I say Woof Woof for her calm, cool acting.

If you like children, dogs and a good story Annie is the show to see.  It’s a well done revival. 

Review by Rozanna Radakovich.

Photos by Annazor.

To read a candid interview with the cast, scroll down to the left for recent photos.  Click on recent photos  for this and other shows.

 

 

 

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