The 35th anniversary revival of the tale of a red-headed orphan in the care of a billionaire Republican during the Great Depression is directed by Tony Award winner James Lapine.
When it premiered on Broadway, in the wake of Vietnam, inflation and Watergate, the musical inspired by the Jazz Age comic strip "Little Orphan Annie" was a refreshing tonic gulped by parched critics and theatregoers alike. At its center was a little girl belting a song called "Tomorrow," an anthem of hope that became known worldwide.
Annie — which featured a funny-mean orphan matron named Miss Hannigan, her bad-guy brother, an industrialist named Warbucks (no question of how he made his money), his kindly secretary, a mutt named Sandy, a clutch of cute moppets and an appearance by President Franklin Roosevelt — would win Tonys for Best Musical, Best Book (Thomas Meehan) and Best Score (composer Charles Strouse and lyricist Martin Charnin). In the decades that followed Annie, the previously underemployed Meehan became the go-to book writer for Broadway musicals, including the Tony-winning Hairspray and The Producers.
Annie also starred Australian actor Anthony Warlow (who has played major opera and musical-theatre roles around the globe) making his Broadway debut as Oliver "Daddy" Warbucks; 11-year-old Lilla Crawford (who appeared in Broadway's Billy Elliot) as Annie; with Brynn O'Malley (Broadway's Wicked, Sunday in the Park With George) as Warbucks' personal assistant, Grace Farrell; Clarke Thorell (Hairspray) as scheming Rooster Hannigan; and J. Elaine Marcos (Priscilla Queen of the Desert) as Rooster's girlfriend Lily St. Regis.
For more about the new Broadway production, visit AnnieTheMusical.com.