There is an unwritten rule on Broadway that hit musicals shouldn’t get sequels. There have been a few exceptions to that rule, but sequels to two of composer Charles Strouse’s biggest hits, Bye Bye Birdie and Annie, tend to back it up.
Annie 2: Miss Hannigan's Revenge closed out of town in 1989. It came back again in revised form in 1993 as Annie Warbucks for a short Off-Broadway run. Bring Back Birdie ran four performances on Broadway in 1981, despite the presence of Chita Rivera again taking the role of Rosie, and Donald O’Connor replacing Dick Van Dyke as Albert.
Both shows are getting second chances this year in New York. Annie Warbucks is getting an Off-Off-Broadway revival August 3–6 at the Alice Griffin Jewel Box Theatre at The Pershing Square Signature Center in Manhattan. The musical that reunited the original creative team of Thomas Meehan, Charles Strouse and Martin Charnin, stars Aviva Winick (Broadway's Matilda) and Iris Davies (national tour of The Sound of Music) alternating in the title role.
The Charles Strouse-Lee Adams score to Bring Back Birdie, which shows what happens to the Almaelou music company years after star Conrad Birdie returns from his stint in Vietnam, will get a concert performance November 9 at Feinstein’s/54 Below supper club as part of the the cabaret’s Second Act Series. The cast is yet to be announced.
Strouse is finding a home for some of his “lost” scores at Feinstein”s/54 Below. His one-performance A Broadway Musical was given a concert staging there on July 16, and Second Act is planning to mount a concert version of Strouse & Adams’ little-known first musical, A Pound in Your Pocket, January 24, 2018.
Tickets to Bring Back Birdie, which cost $35–$75 plus a food/beverage minimum of $25, can be ordered by clicking here.