The musical had its world premiere in August 1976 at the Goodspeed Opera House, with Kristen Vigard in the title role. She was replaced by Andrea McArdle, who would go on to originate the role on Broadway in 1977.
Over the next 35 years, the show would go on to enjoy multiple national tours and stagings in London and countries all over the world. It was revived on Broadway in 1997, in a production starring Nell Carter.
There have been two attempts at stage sequels: Annie 2: Miss Hannigan's Revenge opened in 1989 at the Kennedy Center, and Annie Warbucks ran for 200 performances at the Off-Broadway Variety Arts Theatre in 1993.