Friday, November 9, 2012

AT SUCH MOMENTS, THE CONSTANT THEATERGOER MAY FEEL ONE OF TWO DIFFERENT, EQUALLY STRONG URGES: TO MIST UP OR TO THROW UP:  A revival of Annie, first discussed here over two years ago, opened on Broadway last night and the NYT says:
It would seem that Mr. Lapine is hoping to introduce at least a tincture of psychological shading to a show that is only, and unapologetically, a singing comic strip....

In 1977 Miss Hannigan was portrayed by Dorothy Loudon as a juicy gargoyle, with equal parts Dickensian villainy and showbiz oomph. Ms. Finneran, a two-time Tony winner, takes a more humanizing approach... her Ms. Hannigan is a lonely lush who really just wants to land a fella. 
When her no-good brother, Rooster, proposes a scheme to swindle Oliver Warbucks and make Annie “disappear,” you detect glimmers of a conscience beneath her snarling exterior. When she performs her big solo, “Little Girls,” with a possessed, mesmerizing loopiness, it feels less like a declaration of war than like a private nervous breakdown. You don’t feel like hissing this Miss Hannigan, which adds an addling ambivalence to the show.
Yes, I will bust out the Sarah Jessica Parker singing "I Don't Need Anything But You" link again. Also, the NYT has video of many, many "Tomorrows," from Andrea McCardle to Idina Menzel to Zach Galiafanakis.


  1. Marsha10:29 AM

    Annie was the first show Sue and I saw on Broadway. The star was indeed Sarah Jessica Parker, and we were somewhat obsessed with her throughout our childhood. (I doubt I'd have watched my beloved Square Pegs without that connection.)

    Am curious to hear the reaction of the parents who have taken their children to this iteration of it.

  2. I'm convinced I was a curmudgeon from age 6, as Annie is so incredibly not for me and I was aware of that from the moment the movie started. At least the Brenda Starr movie had fun with coming from a comic strip.

  3. Saray1:48 PM

    I saw the production last Wednesday, two days post-Sandy storm as a bit of feel-good treacle. And that's exactly what this show is: treacle. Seeing it for the first time in years made me remember that there is not a single song in the show that is not pure schmaltz.

    Lilla Crawford is good, but also very, very loud in a "children only have one volume setting" kind of way. Finneran was the star - she made Miss Hannigan delightfully cooky and not quite as 100% cruel as you expect her to be, and that bit of direction was just fine with me. Another highlight was the small child playing Molly: she is a delight and I would like to take her home. On the whole, though, I was mostly reminded just how boring this show is. The only thing that made me feel any emotion was, like Brantley said in his review, the dog.

    I think the show is probably 5-year-old-and-above appropriate, but they'll be lost during the parts about the Depression and the Presidential cabinet. Even the jokes about FDR aimed at the "adults" didn't seem to register with most of those in the audience - pretty sure the foreign tourists around me didn't get the ones about the New Deal.

  4. The sole reason I'm interested in the production is Finneran as Hannigan. Aside from that, meh.

  5. I have no desire to see the show in a theater again unless I'm bringing a kid but I LOVED it so much as a child. To this day if you get me and my oldest friend together, inevitably we will start singing "Sign" as if we were Carol Burnett in the movie.

  6. BarbL11410:48 AM

    I want to see this, only for Anthony Warlow as Daddy Warbucks. I've loved him since hearing him at Enjolras on the Complete Symphonic Les Mis.