When I heard that “Annie” was coming to Broadway, I was so excited. Just think, one of my favorite children’s movies and stage productions was going to be happening again. Yes, another chance to hear the classic songs of “Annie,” another chance to see marvelous choreography and another chance to see the development of relationships between Annie and Oliver Warbucks, and Oliver Warbucks and Grace, his assistant. I must admit that when I go to a production that I am very familiar with, I hope that things are presented in the way I’m used to. This was not the case.
This production of “Annie” is drastically cut. There are scenes that are just not there. There is no evident development of a relationship between Annie and Oliver Warbucks. And there is absolutely no hint of a relationship, except for a working one, between Grace and Warbucks. There were times when I sat there and just wondered what happened to the scene I was expecting.
Lilla Crawford plays Annie and does a good job. Katie Finneran is Miss Hannigan; she was all right, but at times I thought her voice was a bit lacking. Of course, the play has cute orphans, and an adorable dog to play Sandy, but we don’t see Sandy as often as you would expect. Anthony Warlow is entertaining as Oliver Warbucks and has a marvelous singing voice. And, of course, “Annie” has classic numbers like “Maybe,” “It’s a Hard Knock Life,” “Tomorrow,” “Little Girls,” “I Think I’m Gonna Like It Here” and “Easy Street.” However, there are times when these numbers were not performed with the excitement that I have come to expect.
I’m sorry, but for me too many parts of the storyline were changed. The ending scene– when the phony parents get Annie, and Daddy Warbucks and his people have to save her–simply doesn’t happen. The new ending just comes out of left field. I know that some people like having productions updated, if you want to call it that, but I think certain productions should leave certain elements untouched.
“Annie” is playing at the Palace Theatre at Broadway and 47th Street.