Yup. Annie’s back.
This afternoon, we saw the Cabrillo Music Theatre production of Annie. CMT is a regional theatre, which does musicals at a very reasonable prices. As with every musical we’ve seen from them, the cast was excellent, the production was excellent… it was just a great show. Further, the house was reasonable packed with kids, meaning that a lot of kids getting introduced to theatre. This is a good thing.
I’m sure by now everyone is familiar with the musical. Ignore the movie with Carol Burnett (she was the only good thing in the movie, but they changed the story). If you must watch it on video, go for the one from Disney; at least they kept the story intact.
I saw Annie when it first came out in the early 1980s at the Shubert; I haven’t really seen it on stage since. Looking back, I can now see the book problems. There’s no need or justification for Hannigan in the second act (similar to the problem faced in The Rothschilds with Hal Linden’s character). The entire “search for the parents”, especially the business with the Mudges, seems tacked on. Of course, there’s the suspension of disbelief in the cabinet room with FDR (and I’m sorry, but I like Tom Hatten as FDR) when cabinet members stand up and sing (Republicans too, Oliver). Were settling partisan difficulties that easy. I can also see why the attempted sequels (Annie 2: The Revenge of Miss Hanagan, or later, Annie Warbucks) failed (although I would love to get the music from the latter, but I like failed musicals).
But, all in all, it was a good show. Their next show, in March, is Annie Get Your Gun.
Tomorrow is Mitzvah Day; I’m going to help my daughter stuff backpacks with school supplies for needed students. This should be fun. I’ll report on it tomorrow evening.