30 Days Of The 2014 Tony Awards: Day #12 - ANNIE
Today we continue the 2014 edition of our annual BroadwayWorld feature series spotlighting the very best Tony Awards-related moments of all time with a special focus on one of the most loved family-friendly musicals of all time, ANNIE.
Possessing one of the only musical theatre crossover songs to make a major mark on pop culture in the last 50 years, the optimistic and anthemic "Tomorrow", Charles Strouse, Martin Charnin and Thomas Meehan's ANNIE is a complete anomaly in the grand scheme of the musical theatre canon in more ways than merely one. Without a doubt, why a musical set in the Great Depression so unmistakably connected with an entire generation of young theatergoers in the 1970s has to be largely due to the incredible collection of hummable and instantly endearing gems crafted for the score for ANNIE - most notable of all, "Tomorrow". While Jay Z made a major hit out of sampling the tune on his smash hit millennial single "Hard Knock Life (Ghetto Anthem)", it was a ubiquitous and adoringly embraced song in its own time, as well - and how! Now, with Jay Z and Will Smith executive producing a big screen remake of the property set in the present day and outfitted with some new tunes to fit in alongside the score's most celebrated chestnuts, pop culture seems to have come full-circle. But, before the John Huston ANNIE motion picture, before the Rob Marshall ANNIE TV movie and long, long before the 2014 ANNIE movie remake, there was a comic strip about a little orphan girl and her mangy dog, Sandy.
Overseen by major director Mike Nichols in a producer position, the original Broadway production of ANNIE was a smash hit from its premiere back in 1977, directed by Martin Charnin. Yet, the show was plagued with out of town headaches, including the eleventh hour replacement of the title star herself, with the creative team eventually bestowing the prized role to Andrea McArdle, who rightly became an overnight sensation. Opening on April 21, 1977, the show would last for nearly six years in its original run and two major Broadway revivals would follow, in 1997 and 2012, respectively.
ANNIE won a boatload of Tony Awards, including Best Musical, Best Original Score, Best Book, Best Leading Actress In A Musical for Dorothy Loudon, plus Best Choreography for Peter Gennaro, Best Scenic Design for David Mitchell and Best Lighting Design for Theoni V. Aldredge.
So, now, let's take a look at some of the most memorable ANNIE moments from Tony Awards telecasts and beyond.
First up, see the original Broadway cast of ANNIE perform a spirited medley on the 1977 Tony Awards.
Tony Award winner Dorothy Loudon recreates a snazzy bit of "Easy Street" on the 1986 telecast.
Original Annie, Andrea McArdle, recreates "Tomorrow" in 1981.
Next, get a glimpse of the 1997 revival of ANNIE with Nell Carter as Miss Hannigan.
Now, see Jane Lynch lead the company of the most recent Broadway revival of ANNIE with a mini-medley of tunes.
As a special bonus, view the trailer for the new film adaptation of ANNIE starring Quvenzhane Wallis.
So, what precisely is it about ANNIE that sets our hearts alight nearly 40 years after its Broadway bow? Furthermore, what element do you feel contributes to its massive worldwide success most of all? With a score this grand and potential performances this rich, ANNIE proves that the sun will come out after all - and that tomorrow is, indeed, only a day away.