Leapin' Lizards! At 35, Annie Will Get a Facelift for Broadway

News   Leapin' Lizards! At 35, Annie Will Get a Facelift for Broadway
 
Thomas Meehan, the librettist who won a Tony Award for his script to Annie — the musical about a sunnyside-up red-headed orphan in the Depression — will revise the musical for a Broadway revival that Red producer Arielle Tepper Madover is aiming for a late 2012 bow.
Thomas Meehan
Thomas Meehan Photo by Aubrey Reuben

The 35th anniversary production of the show by Meehan, composer Charles Strouse and lyricist Martin Charnin would be put together by a new production team that will freshen the script in the structure and dialogue departments. The story will remain in FDR's America. News of the revival was announced in a press release; the New York Times first reported about changes to the script.

The musical won the Tony Award for Best Musical, made a star of Andrea McArdle in the title role (singing "Tomorrow") and allowed Dorothy Loudon to chew scenery and bring down the house as orphan matron Miss Hannigan (the late actress won a Tony for it). It also taught a couple of generations of little girls (and little boys) to embrace musical theatre as both a potential future career and a lifelong habit. Madover was a fan of the show when she was a child in 1980.

"My grandmother took me to see Annie over the Thanksgiving holiday when I was eight," Madover said in a statement. "It was my first Broadway show. From that moment, I knew that I wanted to work in the theatre. The past 30 years have prepared me to produce this show on Broadway and I cannot wait to share it with a new generation of Broadway audiences and with my own children."

Lyricist Martin Charnin has directed most major Equity revivals in the U.S., including a flop 1997 Broadway revival that starred Nell Carter, who got a new song that the collaborators prefer to forget. There have been two film versions (one for Hollywood, one for TV), and a sequel called Annie Warbucks (an Off-Broadway cast album survives, as do revivals).

Madover's producing credits include 2009-10's Red and Hamlet, plus Hair, Mary Stuart, Frost/Nixon, The Pillowman, James Joyce's The Dead and more. A studio recording of the complete score to Annie was released in recent years. The show (which ran 2,377 performances in its original Broadway run) is based on Harold Gray's comic strip "Little Orphan Annie."

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