Annie is a Broadway musical based upon the popular Harold Gray comic strip Little Orphan Annie, with music by Charles Strouse, lyrics by Martin Charnin, and book by Thomas Meehan. The original Broadway production opened in 1977 and ran for nearly six years, setting a record for the Alvin Theatre (now the Neil Simon Theatre). It spawned numerous productions in many countries, as well as national tours, and won the Tony Award for Best Musical. The musical's songs "Tomorrow" and "It's the Hard Knock Life" are among its most popular musical numbers.
Original Broadway Windowcard
|Basis||Little Orphan Annie |
by Harold Gray
|Productions||1976 Goodspeed Opera House|
1978 West End
1978 Australia tour
1978 North American tour
1978 US tour
1979 US tour
1981 US tour
1983 West End revival
1997 Broadway revival
1998 West End revival
1999 US television
2000 UK tour
2000 Australia tour
2005 US tour
2006 UK tour
2011 UK tour
2011 Australia tour
2012 Broadway revival
2014 US tour
2015 UK tour
2017 West End revival
|Awards||Tony Award for Best Musical |
Tony Award for Best Original Score
Tony Award for Best Book of a Musical
In 1933, eleven-year-old Annie is in the Municipal Girls Orphanage, along with Molly (age 6), Kate (age 7), Tessie (age 10), Pepper (age 12), July and Duffy (both 13). When Molly awakes from a bad dream, angering Pepper and Duffy, July tells them to hush up and eventually gets into a fight with Pepper. Annie gets up and tells everyone to go back to sleep. Molly then asks if Annie could read her note from when her parents left her at the orphanage. Duffy and Pepper are yet again annoyed. Along with Kate, Pepper and Duffy imitate Annie's acting as if they were her parents ("Maybe").
Annie decides to escape to find her parents, but is caught by Miss Hannigan, who is currently suffering from a hangover. She is angered by this and forces all the girls to vigorously clean the orphanage ("Hard Knock Life") before their day of sweatshop labour sewing for a dress manufacturing company (from which Miss Hannigan pockets the proceeds). Shortly after, Mr. Bundles, the laundry man, comes in to pick up the blankets. While Miss Hannigan is flirting with him, Annie climbs into the laundry basket and the orphans cover her up with the blankets. Once Miss Hannigan realizes she is gone, the other orphans express their frustration ("Hard Knock Life (Reprise)").
Annie successfully escapes, running into a friendly stray dog. As she comforts him, she tells him of better days yet to come ("Tomorrow"). The dog catcher is after him, so she pretends the dog is hers by calling him Sandy. Though at first unsuccessful, she convinces the dog catcher, and she continues on. She later finds a Hooverville, where people made homeless by the Great Depression have come together as a community ("We'd Like to Thank You"). However, a policeman named Lt. Ward, who had been sent by Miss Hannigan, catches Annie and brings her back.
Grace Farrell, assistant to the billionaire Oliver Warbucks, comes to the orphanage asking for an orphan to come to his mansion for the Christmas holiday. Because Annie was in Miss Hannigan's office, Grace asks to take her, and Miss Hannigan reluctantly agrees. Once she has left, Miss Hannigan explodes with her hatred for all the girls in the orphanage ("Little Girls").
Meanwhile, at the Warbucks Mansion, the staff welcomes Annie with open arms ("I Think I'm Gonna Like It Here"). When Oliver Warbucks comes back, though, he is not happy to have an orphan in his mansion. He asks Grace to take Annie to a movie, but she persuades him to come too. As he and Annie begin to like each other, they enjoy a fabulous night in New York City ("N.Y.C.").
Back at the orphanage, Miss Hannigan's brother, Rooster, and his girlfriend, Lily, pay a visit. Miss Hannigan mentions that Annie is staying at a billionaire's house, and they think they could use this situation to their advantage, though they do not yet know how ("Easy Street").
Warbucks sees the locket around Annie's neck, and buys her a new one from Tiffany & Co. He debates taking her "under his wing", because he doesn't know much about children, but he realizes that he loves her and gives her the locket ("Why Should I Change A Thing?"). However, she bursts into tears, saying it was the only thing left by her parents, and refuses to accept a new one. Grace and the staff then pledge to find her parents no matter what it takes ("You Won't Be An Orphan For Long").
Annie appears on the radio on a show by Bert Healy ("Maybe" reprise) where Warbucks announces that he is offering $50,000 to the couple who can prove they are her parents. Healy then sings a song with the Boylan Sisters ("You're Never Fully Dressed Without a Smile"). Back at the orphanage the girls are listening to the song. Everyone is fascinated that their friend is on the radio, except Pepper; who couldn't care less. ("You're Never Fully Dressed Without a Smile" reprise). When Miss Hannigan hears, she barges in and demands to know what was happening. Molly announces that Annie was on the radio, and that there is a $50,000 reward for her parents. Miss Hannigan is anything but pleased. Shortly after, a couple named Ralph and Shirley Mudge arrive, saying they left a little girl here eleven years ago and have come back for her. Miss Hannigan is shocked. They soon reveal themselves to be Rooster and Lily; they explain their plan to get the reward. They request information about Annie from Miss Hannigan for one third of the money, though she demands one half for this service, and she tells them about the note and the locket ("Easy Street" reprise).
Warbucks brings Annie to Washington, D.C., where she requests to meet the president. Warbucks thinks that it would be better if Annie waited outside, but Franklin D. Roosevelt asks her to stay. She begins to sing "Tomorrow", though shushed by the cabinet. Roosevelt, however, believes that people must be optimistic during tough times, and commands them to sing ("Tomorrow" Cabinet reprise). Once back home, Warbucks tells Annie how much he loves her ("Something Was Missing"). Because her parents have not shown up, he announces he would like to adopt her ("I Don't Need Anything But You"). They decide to throw a Christmas party, and Annie wants to invite Miss Hannigan and the orphans. While preparing, the delighted staff tell of how her arrival has changed their lives ("Annie").
Judge Louis Brandeis shows up to begin the adoption proceedings, but is interrupted by Mr. and Mrs. Mudge (Rooster and Lily in disguise) who come to pick up Annie. Grace and Warbucks are shocked, because they know about the note and the locket. Still, Warbucks does not think they are her real parents. He requests that she will be allowed to stay one more night for the Christmas party, and then they can take her away to their supposed pig farm in New Jersey. Early that morning, she wishes she could have been adopted, not sent off with her "parents" ("Maybe" reprise). Warbucks then receives a surprise visit from Roosevelt and his Secret Service. It is revealed by him that Annie's parents are actually David and Margaret Bennett, who died when she was a baby. They then realize that Mr. and Mrs. Mudge are really Rooster and Lily, just as they show up to claim her and the money. They are arrested for their crimes by the Secret Service, along with Miss Hannigan for being their accomplice, Annie is adopted by Warbucks, and everyone is delighted by Roosevelt's new deal for the economy ("A New Deal for Christmas"/"Tomorrow").
|Oliver "Daddy" Warbucks||Billionaire businessman who opens his home – and finally opens his heart – to Annie.|
|Annie||The title character. The spunky and optimistic 11 year old orphan who's looking for her birth parents. She ends up getting adopted by Oliver Warbucks.|
|Grace Farrell||-||Daniel "Rooster" Hannigan||Miss Hannigan's younger brother, a convict who escaped jail so he can rob his sister and plot to abduct Annie.|
|Miss Agatha Hannigan||The orphanage matron, disillusioned, she hates children, but is fond of alcoholic beverages.|
|Drake||The butler at the Warbucks Mansion; a good friend to Grace, Annie and Daddy Warbucks.|
|Lily St. Regis||Rooster's girlfriend, an egotistical gold digger. She and Rooster pose as Annie's "parents" so they can fool Warbucks and get their hands on the $50,000 reward.|
|Franklin D. Roosevelt||President of the United States, he aids Daddy Warbucks in the search for Annie's parents. Upon meeting Annie, he is inspired to make a new deal and restore America's economy.|
|Molly||The youngest orphan (6) who is also Annie's best friend.|
|Pepper||The bossiest orphan (12) who likes to take control and is not very good friends with Annie.|
|Duffy||The oldest orphan (13) who often hangs around with Pepper but is friends with everyone.|
|July||The quietest orphan (13) who doesn't talk much but is mother-like to all the kids.|
|Tessie||The crybaby orphan (10) who is known for the line "Oh my goodness".|
|Kate||The shyest orphan (7) who never really speaks but is friends with everyone.|
|Louis Brandeis||Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, he is called upon to assist in Annie's adoption.|
|Bert Healy||Radio announcer who agrees to broadcast Annie's search for her parents.|
|The Boylan Sisters||Singers on the Bert Healy Show who hope to be famous someday.|
|Fred McCracken and Wacky||A ventriloquist and dummy, who are guests on Bert Healy's Oxydent Hour of Smiles.|
|Lt. Ward||A policeman sent after Annie, he finds her at the local homeless town (Hooverville).|
|Sandy||An abandoned mixed–breed dog that, once Annie rescues him, becomes her companion and pet.|
|Bundles||The laundry man. Miss Hannigan continuously hits on him, but he is not interested.|
|Cordell Hull, Frances Perkins, Louis Howe, Harold Ickes, and Henry Morgenthau Jr.||Franklin Roosevelt's Cabinet members who sing "Tomorrow" with Warbucks and Annie.|
|Star-To-Be||An upcoming Broadway Star, who sings a solo in N.Y.C.|
|Mrs. Greer, Mrs. Pugh, Cecile, and Annette||Oliver Warbucks's servants. They do a lot of housekeeping and are often supervised by Drake and Grace.|
|Dog Catcher and Assistant Dog Catcher||Characters in Hooverville who endanger Sandy.|
|Sophie and the Apple Seller||Child citizens of Hooverville who lead the town and the members of it.|
|Kaltenborn and Radio Announcers||Announcers on the radio.|
|Usherette||A female usher who seats Annie, Grace, and Warbucks in the movie theater.|
|Jimmy Johnson||A guest on Bert Healy's Oxydent Hour of Smiles, who calls himself "radio's only masked announcer".|
|SFX Man||A member of Bert Healy's radio show, who controls the sound effects for the show and encourages crowd participation.|
|Men and Women of Hooverville||Men and Women who are homeless and live in shanties in the town of Hooverville.|
The New York Times estimates that Annie is produced 700 to 900 times each year in the United States.
Charnin first approached Meehan to write the book of a musical about Little Orphan Annie in 1972. Meehan researched by re-reading prints of the comic strip, but was unable to find any satisfactory material for a musical other than the characters of Annie, Oliver Warbucks and Sandy, so decided to write his own story. As all three of Meehan, Charnin and Strouse were from New York and given what he saw as the downbeat mood of the then-current Nixon era and the Vietnam War, Meehan set his story in New York during the similarly downbeat Great Depression. Meehan saw the character of Annie as a 20th Century American female version of the titular orphan characters created by Charles Dickens in works such as Oliver Twist and David Copperfield with the mystery of Annie's abandonment and unknown parenthood as consistent with a strand of mysteries in Dickens' tales. Meehan's book was accepted by Charnin and Strouse, but considerable material had to be trimmed out – material which Meehan would later restore for his novelisation.
Annie had its world premiere on August 10, 1976 at the Goodspeed Opera House in East Haddam, Connecticut under the direction of Michael P. Price, Executive Director. Kristen Vigard was the first actress to play the title role. However, the producers soon decided that Vigard's genuinely sweet interpretation was not tough enough for the street-smart orphan. After a week of performances, Vigard was replaced by Andrea McArdle, who played one of the other orphans, Pepper. Vigard went on to become McArdle's Broadway understudy.
The original Broadway production opened at the Alvin Theatre on April 21, 1977 and starred Andrea McArdle as Annie, Reid Shelton as Daddy Warbucks, Dorothy Loudon as Miss Hannigan, and Sandy Faison as Grace Farrell. Danielle Brisebois was one of the orphans. It was nominated for eleven Tony Awards and won seven, including the Best Musical, Best Score, and Best Book. Replacements in the title role on Broadway included then-child actors Shelley Bruce, Sarah Jessica Parker, Allison Smith and Alyson Kirk. Replacements in the role of Miss Hannigan included Alice Ghostley, Dolores Wilson, Betty Hutton, Marcia Lewis, and June Havoc. Ann Ungar understudied and played for Dorothy Loudon in the role of Miss Hannigan. She also understudied Alice Ghostley and Dolores Wilson. The show closed on January 2, 1983, after a total of 2,377 performances, setting a record for the longest running show at the Alvin Theatre (now the Neil Simon Theatre), until it was surpassed by Hairspray in 2009.
United States National touring companies
During the Broadway run of Annie, there were four touring companies that were launched from the original production to tour to major North American cities:
The 1st National Touring Company opened in Toronto in March 1978 with Kathy Jo Kelly as Annie, Norwood Smith as Daddy Warbucks, Jane Connell, Ruth Kobart as Miss Hannigan, and Gary Beach as Rooster. It played in Miami from April 12 to May 13, 1978 then continued for a few more cities until it landed in Chicago where it played for 32 weeks. In April 1979, it continued on the road in with Mary K. Lombardi now in the lead as Annie. In the fall of 1980, Theda Stemler took over the part and was replaced in Boston when she grew too old. On May 15, 1981, Louanne Sirota, who had played Annie in the long-running Los Angeles production (see below), took over the role for four months. In August 1981, Becky Snyder became the company's last Annie, closing the tour on September 6, 1981.
The 2nd National Touring Company (sometimes referred to as the West Coast or Los Angeles Production) opened in San Francisco on June 22, 1978 with Patricia Ann Patts starring as Annie, Jennifer Cihi as Pepper and the then-unknown Molly Ringwald as one of the orphans. The show landed in Los Angeles on October 15, 1978 for an open-ended run at the Shubert Theatre. On June 12, 1979, Sirota, just 9 years old (up until that time, all Annies had been 11 years old), took over the role from Patts. Marisa Morell took the role in December 1979, closing the Los Angeles run and continuing on tour with the show through December 1980. Kristi Coombs then played Annie until this touring company closed in Philadelphia on January 23, 1982. Alyssa Milano played one of the orphans in 1981.
The 3rd National Touring Company opened in Dallas on October 3, 1979 with Rosanne Sorrentino (who would later go on to portray Pepper in the 1982 film version) in the title role. This company toured to 23 cities playing mostly shorter runs of a month or less. On March 27, 1981, Bridget Walsh took over as Annie. Becky Snyder (who had closed the 1st National Tour) joined this company in the summer of 1982 and stayed with it until it closed in September of that year.
The 4th National Touring Company opened on September 11, 1981 with Mollie Hall playing Annie. This production was a "bus and truck" tour, with a slightly reduced cast, that traveled the country and often played in two cities a week. This company was still touring when the original Broadway production closed in January 1983, making Kathleen Sisk the final performer to play Annie from the original production team. This tour closed in September 1983.
West End original
The musical premiered in the West End at the Victoria Palace Theatre on May 3, 1978. Andrea McArdle, the original Broadway Annie, played the title role for 40 performances. British 12-year-old Ann Marie Gwatkin was also cast in the title role and appeared on the Original London cast recording. The Opening night cast and the original sound track of children were Claire Hood, Jane Collins, Dawn Napier, Annette Mason, Helen Stephenson, Jackie Ekers and Linda Brewis. Ann Marie Gwatkin alternated with Christine Hyland and four other Annies were cast at this point: Anne O'Rourke, Jacinta Whyte, Helen Thorne, Rosa Michelle who were to play the role over the next year. Suzie Kemeys, from South Wales also performed two stints in 1980/81. The first was as the character July in the chorus and the second was playing the title role of Annie. ITV Wales commissioned two documentaries about this young Welsh girl and her rise from obscurity to a West End leading lady. Following, this Ann Marie Gwatkin and Jackie Ekers shared the title role followed by many other casts of Annie. Miss Hannigan was originally played by Sheila Hancock, and later by Maria Charles and Stella Moray; Daddy Warbucks was played by Stratford Johns and later by Charles West, with Deborah Clarke playing Pepper in the first year and Melanie Grant playing Molly.
Annie closed on November 28, 1981, after 1485 performances.
The musical transferred to the Bristol Hippodrome for a special Christmas season before touring Britain. Because of strict British employment laws for juvenile actors, a succession of actresses took on the lead role every four months. One of the last girls to perform the role at the Victoria Palace before the show went on tour was 10-year-old Claudia Bradley from Leeds who was featured on a 1981 BBC programme called Fame.
Broadway revival (1997)
A 20th anniversary Broadway revival, which played at the Martin Beck Theatre (now called the Al Hirschfeld Theatre) in 1997, entitled Annie, the 20th Anniversary, starred Nell Carter as Miss Hannigan, but controversy surrounded the casting of the titular character. The original actress cast in the role, Joanna Pacitti, was fired and replaced by her fellow orphan, Brittny Kissinger (who usually played orphan July) just two weeks before her Broadway debut, while battling bronchitis in Boston. The Pre-Broadway Tour was playing the Colonial Theatre. 'Annie' Understudy and Swing Orphan Alexandra Keisman performed the role the first night Pacitti was absent. The producers then gave Kissinger the next performance. The show then moved on to the Oakdale in Connecticut where an insert was placed in the Playbill claiming "The Role of Annie is now being played by Brittny Kissinger". Public sentiment seemed to side with Pacitti as she was the winner of a highly publicized contest to find a new Annie sponsored by the department store Macy's. This incident, coupled with the mixed reviews the new staging garnered, doomed it to a short run, although it was followed by a successful national tour. Kissinger, then 8, became the youngest actress to ever play Annie on Broadway.
More controversy surrounding the show involved Nell Carter. Carter reportedly was very upset when commercials promoting the show used a different actress, Marcia Lewis, a white actress, as Miss Hannigan. The producers claimed that the commercials, which were made during an earlier production, were too costly to reshoot. Carter felt that racism played a part in the decision. "Maybe they do not want audiences to know Nell Carter is black", she told the New York Post. However, the ads did mention that Carter was in the show. "It hurts a lot", Carter told the Post, "I've asked them nicely to stop it — it's insulting to me as a black woman." Later reports stated that "Nell Carter of Broadway's 'Annie' denied Thursday that she called her show's producers racist because they chose to air commercials featuring a previous Miss Hannigan—who is white—instead of her." Her statement, released by the Associated Press, read: " 'Yes, it is true that I and my representatives have gone to management on more than one occasion about the commercial and were told that there was nothing they could do about it,' Carter said in a statement Thursday. 'Therefore, I have resigned myself to the fact that this is the way it is.' The statement also addressed the alleged charges of racism, first published in Thursday's New York Post. Carter is black. 'I, Nell Carter, never, ever, ever accused my producers or anyone in the show of racism,' she said. Producers have said it is too expensive to film a new commercial." Carter was later replaced by another white actress, Sally Struthers. The revival closed on October 19, 1997 after 14 previews and 239 performances.
West End revival (1998)
The show was revived at the Victoria Palace, running from September 30, 1998 to February 28, 1999. It starred Lesley Joseph and then Lily Savage (the female alter ego of comedian Paul O'Grady) as Miss Hannigan and Kevin Colson as Warbucks. The young girls who played Annie were Charlene Barton, Tasha Gold, Libby Gore and Sophie McShera. Orphans included Dominique Moore as documented on Paddington Green.
1999–2000 United States tour
Starting in August 1999, the post Broadway National Tour continued with Meredith Anne Bull as Annie. In the spring of 2000, Ashley Wieronski, who had been playing Duffy, moved up to play Annie. In July 2000, Dana Benedict took over as Annie.
2000–2001 Australian tour
In 2000/2001 a tour played Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane. Anthony Warlow starred as Daddy Warbucks with Amanda Muggleton as Miss Hannigan. A new song, "Why Should I Change a Thing", was written for Warlow. Appearing as Annie in the Sydney production were Rachel Marley and Jodie McGaw. A publicist noted that "each time the show moves to a new city two casts of seven orphans plus two Annies have to be found to join the adult cast."
2001–2010 UK tours
Further UK tours of the show were also staged, including a one-month run at The Theatre Royal in Lincoln in 2001. Members of the original cast included Kate Winney and Jemma Carlisle as Annie, Louise English (Grace), Vicki Michelle (Miss Hannigan) and Simon Masterton-Smith (Daddy Warbucks). The show proved to be a success, and so for the first two tours and the Malaysian Genting Highlands Production, the role of Annie was then shared by Faye Spittlehouse and a young Lucy May Barker. Miss Hannigan was late performed by Sue Pollard and Ruth Madoc and Daddy Warbucks by Mark Wynter. This particular production toured from 2001–2007 and resumed in September 2008. The last tour of this production ended in 2011 with the role of Miss Hannigan still Su Pollard, David McAlister as Daddy Warbucks, Victoria Sian Lewis as Annie, and Simone Craddock as Grace Farrell.
2005–10 United States tours
Starting in August 2005, a 30th anniversary traveling production of Annie by NETworks Tours embarked on a multi-city tour. This production was directed by Martin Charnin. For the first year of the tour, Conrad John Schuck played Daddy Warbucks, Alene Robertson was Miss Hannigan and Annie was played by Marissa O'Donnell. Throughout the run of the show, there were a couple of replacements, including Amanda Balon, who took over as Molly. For the 2nd year of the tour, Annie was played by Marissa O'Donnell again. This Equity Tour closed on March 25, 2007, at the Hippodrome Theatre in Baltimore, Maryland. The 2007–08 tour starred Amanda Balon as Annie. The 2008–09 cast for the tour featured Tianna Stevens as Annie. Early in 2009, Amanda Balon returned temporarily to play the role of Annie until Madison Kerth was rehearsed to play the title role. Also returning were Barton, Andrews and Meisner. Other cast members included Mackenzie Aladjem (Molly). In the 2009–10 tour, Kerth returned as Annie along with most of the previous year's cast, adding Jordan Boezem (from Spotlight Kids in Sarasota, Fl) in the role of July.
Broadway revival (2012)
A 35th Anniversary production opened on Broadway in 2012. Thomas Meehan revised the musical, with James Lapine directing. Lilla Crawford starred as Annie with Katie Finneran as Miss Hannigan, and Anthony Warlow playing "Daddy" Warbucks. Featured cast includes Brynn O'Malley, Clarke Thorell and J. Elaine Marcos as Grace Farrell, Rooster and Lily St. Regis (respectively). The revival started previews at the Palace Theatre on October 3, 2012, and officially opened on November 8, 2012 receiving mostly mixed reviews. Notable replacements include Jane Lynch and Faith Prince as Miss Hannigan. On July 30, Taylor Richardson and Sadie Sink both began alternating the role of Annie, replacing Crawford. This production closed on January 5, 2014, after 38 previews and 487 regular performances.
2014–17 United States tours
Starting in September 2014, a 40th anniversary traveling production of Annie was launched by TROIKA Entertainment. Directed by Martin Charnin, the tour kicked off in Detroit, Michigan. For the first year of the tour, Issie Swickle played the title character alongside Gilgamesh Tagget and Lynn Andrews as Oliver Warbucks and Miss Hannigan respectively. There were many replacements throughout the tour, and by the end Gilgamesh Tagget was the only remaining original member. For most of the second year of the tour, Heidi Gray played "Annie". For the third and final year of the tour Tori Bates played Annie and became the first bi-racial Annie in a professional production. The 40th Anniversary performance was celebrated in Baltimore, Maryland on April 21, 2017 with Angelina Carballo as Annie. The tour came to a close in Boston, Massachusetts on May 21, 2017 after 745 performances.
West End revival (2017)
A West End revival began at the Piccadilly Theatre in London opening on June 5, 2017 (previews beginning 23 May) for a limited run until January 6, 2018. Miranda Hart will make her musical debut as Miss Hannigan until September 17, the production will be directed by Nikolai Foster and produced by Michael Harrison and David Ian. The production will be identical to the 2015–16 UK and Ireland tour. The 3 girls who are sharing the main role are Madeleine Haynes (reprising her the role from the UK tour), Lola Moxom and Ruby Stokes. From September 19, for a limited 10 week run, Craig Revel Horwood returned to the role of Miss Hannigan, reprising his role from the 2015–16 UK and Ireland tour. Due to phenomenal success at the box office, the production extended its limited run, with Meera Syal as Miss Hannigan from November 27, through to the show's conclusion on February 18, 2018, when it will close to make way for the musical adaptation of Strictly Ballroom.
Annie has been produced professionally in Canada (1978), Argentina (19821), Australia (19781, 2000, 20111, 2012), Denmark (1982), Germany (1999), Hungary (1998), Ireland (2003, 20163), Israel (20011, 2010), Italy (1982, 2006), Japan (1979, 1986–2019)2, United Kingdom (19781, 1983, 1998, tours from 2000–2010), Mexico (19791,1991, 2010, 2015), Netherlands (1997–19991, 2005–20071, 2012–20131), Norway (19911, 20041, 2013 ), Philippines (1978, 1987, 1998, 2016), Portugal (1982,1, 2010), Spain (19821, 20001, 2010), Sweden (1979 (Stockholm), 1999 (Stockholm), 2005–2006 (Malmö)1), Peru (1986, 1997, 2002), Zimbabwe (2003), Russia (2002–2009), Colombia (2006), South Korea (1984, 1996, 2006–2007, 2010–2011, 2018–2019), Hong Kong (2012), Belgium (1992, 2008–2009, 2012), Poland (1989), United Arab Emirates (2009), Denmark (2011), Puerto Rico (2012), Singapore (2012), Greece (2013) and Brazil (2018–2019).
1Indicates the production made an official cast recording.
2In Japan, a special demo recording of selected songs is made each year, with the new actress playing Annie.
3In Ireland, in the 2016 production, the actresses playing Annie and Molly (Aoife McNamara & Simone McInerney) alternated between the roles.
The first attempt at a sequel, Annie 2: Miss Hannigan's Revenge, opened at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. in December 1989 to universally disastrous reviews. Extensive reworking of the script and score proved futile, and the project ended before reaching Broadway.
In 1993, a second attempt (with a different plot and score) titled Annie Warbucks was developed in a workshop at the Goodspeed Opera House under the direction of Michael P. Price where the original Annie enjoyed its world premiere in 1976. It subsequently opened at the Off Broadway Variety Arts Theatre, where it ran for 200 performances.
† This number was added as a showcase for Nell Carter in the 1997 Broadway revival. It has not appeared in any subsequent productions.
‡ This number was added as a showcase for Anthony Warlow in a 2000 Australian production, and has since become an optional part of the show, as it notably did not appear in the 2012 Broadway revival, also starring Warlow.
The Original Broadway Cast recording was released in 1977; a CD containing bonus tracks was released on September 15, 1998 by Sony (ASIN: B00000AG6Z). The 1995 London studio cast recording, featuring the National Symphony Orchestra, stars Sarah French as Annie, Kim Criswell as Miss Hannigan and Ron Raines as Daddy Warbucks.
A 30th anniversary cast recording was released in 2008 on Time–Life Records. An all-star cast of former Annie cast members includes Carol Burnett, Sally Struthers, Kathie Lee Gifford, Andrea McArdle, John Schuck, Harve Presnell, Gary Beach and Amanda Balon. The rest of the cast is made up of the members of the 30th Anniversary Tour. This recording is a double CD set and includes the entire show as it is performed now on the first disc. The second one includes songs from the sequel, "Annie 2: Miss Hannigan's Revenge" as well as songs that were cut from or added to the original production. There is also a song from the 1977 Annie Christmas special. The booklet is made up of original drawings by Philo Barnhart, who is the creator of Ariel and Ursula in "The Little Mermaid", and is presented in a comic book style.
In 1980, Macmillan Books published Meehan's novelisation of his script for the musical, later reprinted by Puffin Books in 2014. Several of the lyrics from songs from the show were adapted into dialogue and monologue for the novelisation, not least Tomorrow whose main lyric is depicted as being Annie's personal motto. Meehan used the novel to restore material cut from his original storyline and develop the Annie story into his original concept of what he considered to be a 20th Century American version of Charles Dickens' Oliver Twist, albeit with a female rather than male orphan as the protagonist.
The novel goes into greater depth regarding the backgrounds of many of the characters and particularly about hardship at the orphanage, at which brutal beatings and emotional abuse from Miss Hannigan are everyday occurrences. Unlike the high camp portrayal of Miss Hannigan in most productions of the musical, the novelisation – in the tradition of Dickens' original novel of Oliver Twist – emphatically depicts her as a truly sinister and malevolent villainess – "a skinny hatchet faced woman with short jet-black hair (who) reminded the orphans of a particularly unpleasant looking – and all too real – Halloween witch".
A greater emphasis is placed on the sheer drudgery and illegality of the orphans' sewing labours in the orphanage basement. However, whereas in the musical the orphans are not enrolled in school until the final scene, in the novelisation they attend a public school, PS62, where they suffer from snobbery from teachers and harassment from non-orphan pupils, particularly from a spoiled rich girl named Myrtle Vandenmeer. The legal name of Rooster's girlfriend Lily St Regis is given in the book as being Muriel Jane Gumper.
In the novel, Annie spends several months on the run from the orphanage, initially spending the winter as resident staff in Bixby's Beanery, a low-grade café run by couple Fred and Gert Bixby, before escaping after she finds Sandy. She then spends several months living in the Hooverville with Sophie and the Apple Seller (who is named as G. Randall "Randy" Whitworth Jr, a former stockbroker left destitute by the Depression) who, in the novelisation, are adult characters and a couple. It is revealed at the end that Randy, Sophie and all the other Hoovervillites had been released from prison and given jobs and homes by Warbucks as gratitude for taking care of Annie. Also reappearing at the end of the book is Sandy, previously written out of the book while fleeing police during the raid on the Hooverville, who it transpires was successfully traced by agents from Pinkerton hired by Warbucks.
Film and television
Columbia Pictures acquired the film rights in 1977 for $9.5 million, the most expensive at the time for a stage musical. The film was released in 1982 directed by John Huston, starring Albert Finney as Daddy Warbucks, Carol Burnett as Miss Hannigan, Ann Reinking as Grace Farrell, Tim Curry as Rooster, Bernadette Peters as Lily, and newcomer Aileen Quinn as Annie.
A sequel, Annie: A Royal Adventure! was made for television in 1995. It starred Ashley Johnson, Joan Collins, George Hearn, and Ian McDiarmid. Aside from a reprise of "Tomorrow", there are no songs in it.
A made-for-TV Wonderful World of Disney movie version, produced by The Walt Disney Company and directed by Rob Marshall, was broadcast in 1999; it starred Victor Garber as Daddy Warbucks, Kathy Bates as Miss Hannigan, Audra McDonald as Grace Farrell, Alan Cumming as Rooster, Kristin Chenoweth as Lily, and newcomer Alicia Morton as Annie.
In January 2011, Will Smith announced plans for a redux of Annie set in the present day, produced with his wife Jada Pinkett Smith and rapper Jay-Z for release by Columbia Pictures. This version was to star the Smiths' daughter, Willow, as Annie; as she had aged out of the part before production began, she was replaced by Academy Award-nominated actress Quvenzhané Wallis. Directed by Will Gluck and released in 2014, this version of Annie also stars Jamie Foxx as Will Stacks (an update of Daddy Warbucks), Rose Byrne as Grace Farrell, and Cameron Diaz as Miss Hannigan. The film's song score includes most of the original musical's songs plus new compositions produced by Greg Kurstin and Sia.
A documentary film, Life After Tomorrow, was directed and produced by one of the original Broadway and National Tour orphans, Julie Stevens and partner, Gil Cates Jr. It reunites more than 40 women who played orphans in the show and reveals the highs and lows of their experiences as child actresses in a cultural phenomenon. The film premiered on Showtime and was released on DVD in 2008.
Annie Jr. is a musical licensed by Music Theatre International's Broadway Junior collection, specially edited to be performed by youngsters in a shortened version. It is performed internationally every year by acting academies, programs, schools, and theatre camps. MTI also licenses another youth version of the show, called Annie KIDS, a 30-minute length version meant for elementary school aged performers.
Stage differences (1977 musical)
The songs "We'd Like to Thank You Herbert Hoover", "A New Deal for Christmas", "Something Was Missing" and "Tomorrow (Cabinet Reprise)" were cut. There is only one version of "You're Never Fully Dressed Without a Smile", which is sung by the orphans. Also, there are only two "Maybe" reprises. The song "You won't Be an Orphan For Long" only features Annie and Daddy Warbucks. The songs "Easy Street" and "Little Girls" were also shortened. Many of the songs have been transposed down a few keys to make them easier for amateur child actors to sing.
Pop culture references
Annie's popularity is reflected in its numerous mentions in popular media. References to the show appear in films such as Austin Powers: Goldmember, where Dr. Evil and Mini-Me perform Jay-Z's version of the song 'Hard Knock Life'; and in the 1994 John Waters dark comedy Serial Mom, where a woman is bludgeoned to death with a leg of mutton by the titular serial killer while watching the 1982 film version and singing along. It is parodied in Reefer Madness, where President Franklin D. Roosevelt shows up as the deus ex machina at the end of the satirical musical to tell the assembled crowd, "A little orphan girl once told me that the sun would come out tomorrow. Her adopted father was a powerful billionaire, so I suppressed the urge to laugh in her face, but now, by gum, I think she may have been on to something!"
References in television series include:
- In The X-Files episode "Die Hand Die Verletzt (The hand that hurts)", Annie is suggested as a more appropriate school production than Jesus Christ Superstar, for a high school that turns out to be run by a Satanic coven.
- Pushing Daisies where Emerson referred to Chuck's father as "Daddy Dead-bucks" in the episode entitled "The Norwegians" (Season 2: Episode 10).
- An episode of SCTV, features a spoof commercial of the "original" cast, now older adults still playing their kid roles, performing the 8,000th performance of Annie.
- Zoey 101, where Marc wants the school production changed to Annie.
- Full House, where Stephanie Tanner sings the song in several episodes
- On Yes, Dear, Dominic and his new friend Ronnie put on a show for the parents including "Hard Knock Life", to Jimmy's horror.
- On 30 Rock, Liz Lemon is discovered in her office after hours listening to music on her headset and singing "Maybe".
- Also in 30 Rock, "The Tuxedo Begins", an unnamed caricature of an aspiring actress (quickly revealed to be a prostitute) sings parts of "NYC" both in the beginning and end of the episode. The role was played by thespian Sarah Schenkkan. The melody and harmony of the same song are quoted by the soundtrack of the episode, and a mariachi version is played over the closing credits.
- The stop-motion comedy show Robot Chicken parodied Annie in episodes including "Maurice Was Caught" (2009).
- In "Makeover", an episode of Glee, a guest starring Sarah Jessica Parker as Isabelle Wright from Vogue.com with Kurt Hummel and Rachel Berry sing "You're never fully dressed without a smile".
- In the Netflix series Haters Back Off, Miranda Sings and her family attempt to mount a backyard production of Annie (with extensive book and score revisions) in the episode "Staring in a Musicall".
The song "Tomorrow" is sung in many media references, including by Joe's aunt in a scene in the film You've Got Mail; in Dave, by Kevin Kline and Sigourney Weaver; by Lewis on The Drew Carey Show; by Jane Krakowski in the fourth season of Ally McBeal; in Roseanne, by Darlene and Becky; by Reese Witherspoon in Just Like Heaven; by Donkey in the CGI movies Shrek II (although he passes out halfway through the second line) and Shrek Forever After when he is pulling the witches' cart to Rumpelstiltskin with an unconscious Shrek inside after making the deal with Rumpelstiltskin; in a commercial for Lowe's Hardware promoting their next-day delivery; by the Royle Family in the episode "The Queen of Sheba" of the eponymous series; by contestant Teresa Cooper on an episode of Survivor: Africa; in a Duel Masters episode, it is recited by Shobu; by Marta in School Of Rock; in Like Mike, by a couple hoping to be Calvin's adoptive parents; and in Addams Family Values.
The climax of the animated film Igor involved a giant robot portraying Annie.
Other prominent media references include the following:
- Producer The 45 King heavily sampled "It's the Hard-Knock Life" from the original Broadway cast recording on rapper Jay-Z's single "Hard Knock Life (Ghetto Anthem)" (1998).
- The NFL Network produced two Super Bowl ads in 2004 and 2005 featuring "Tomorrow." A series of football celebrities who were retired or did not make it to that year's Super Bowl would sing the song, ending with the caption, "...Tomorrow, we're all undefeated again."
- Comedian Zach Galifianakis lip-synched to a recording of "Tomorrow" during his monologue on the March 12, 2011 episode of Saturday Night Live. He was dressed as Annie.
Awards and nominations
Original Broadway production
|1977||Tony Award||Best Musical||Won|
|Best Book of a Musical||Thomas Meehan||Won|
|Best Original Score||Charles Strouse and Martin Charnin||Won|
|Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Musical||Reid Shelton||Nominated|
|Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Musical||Andrea McArdle||Nominated|
|Best Direction of a Musical||Martin Charnin||Nominated|
|Best Choreography||Peter Gennaro||Won|
|Best Scenic Design||David Mitchell||Won|
|Best Costume Design||Theoni V. Aldredge||Won|
|Drama Desk Award||Outstanding Musical||Won|
|Outstanding Book of a Musical||Thomas Meehan||Won|
|Outstanding Actor in a Musical||Reid Shelton||Nominated|
|Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical||Dorothy Loudon||Won|
|Outstanding Director of a Musical||Martin Charnin||Won|
|Outstanding Choreography||Peter Gennaro||Won|
|Outstanding Music||Charles Strouse||Nominated|
|Outstanding Lyrics||Martin Charnin||Won|
|Outstanding Costume Design||Theoni V. Aldredge||Won|
|1978||Grammy Award||Best Cast Show Album||Won|
1997 Broadway revival
|1997||Tony Award||Best Revival of a Musical||Nominated|
1998 London revival
|1999||Laurence Olivier Award||Best Performance in a Supporting Role in a Musical||Andrew Kennedy||Nominated|
|Best Theatre Choreographer||Peter Gennaro||Nominated|
Theatre portal New York City portal
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|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Annie (musical).|
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- Annie at the Internet Broadway Database
- Annie album; MasterWorks Broadway
- Annie MTI Shows
- Annie Jr. MTI Shows
- Annie Kids MTI Shows