Printer Friendly - ANNIE Reviews


ANNIE Reviews
Posted by LimelightMike 2012-11-08 04:22:28


Today is Thursday, November 8, marking the official opening night performance of ANNIE! The 1977 show that introduced generations of children to that 'cute little red-headed girl' sees a treatment in the 21st century, following previews from October 3. The 35th anniversary revival of the tale of an 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 , 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). Annie goes from the orphanage to The Palace Theatre tonight!

ANNIE Reviews
Posted by bwayphreak234 2012-11-08 04:47:52


I'm expecting mixed reviews across the board on this one. I'm interested to see what critics think of Finneran.

ANNIE Reviews
Posted by henrikegerman 2012-11-08 12:18:45


As one who adores Katie (and trust I'm speaking for a whole lot of her fans), I just want to say: Here's hoping she - however tough the road has been - strikes gold and owns it tonight! Katie, you can do it!

ANNIE Reviews
Posted by FANtomFollies 2012-11-08 13:29:45


hasn't Katie already given the performance that will be reviewed? I thought the critics performance was usually a few days before opening night...

ANNIE Reviews
Posted by henrikegerman 2012-11-08 14:01:13


Oh, yeah, good point. In that case, here's hoping she's already stepped up to the plate.

ANNIE Reviews
Posted by lynnetoomey 2012-11-08 19:14:37


AMNY (Windman)

OUCH.



Annie
1.5 stars

How would you like to see an irresistible musical comedy about a smart and spunky young girl who outwits a tyrannical, child-hating female power figure and is eventually adopted by a genuinely caring adult?

No, I'm not talking about "Annie," though I'll get to that soon enough. The musical you really want to see is "Matilda," which will open on Broadway in a few months.

As for "Annie," one of the most heartwarming and beloved musicals of all time, it has been all but butchered by James Lapine - a playwright-director best known for his original and edgy collaborations with Stephen Sondheim and William Finn - in his charmless and misconceived new Broadway revival.

Lapine is hardly a bad director. Rather, the co-creative force behind such musicals as "Sunday in the Park with George" and "Falsettos" is simply the wrong choice for "Annie."

The problems start when the show's classic overture is cut in half to make room for a dorky newsreel clip. The scenic design, intended to represent the turning pages of a fairy tale book, is ugly. Andy Blankenbuehler's forceful choreography is completely inappropriate.

Lapine hasn't necessarily darkened the show's tone, as one might have feared. His production is simply devoid of purpose or charm. At a time when New Yorkers could really use a feel-good musical, this "Annie" can barely even entertain.

In the title role, Lilla Crawford, 11, has a strong presence, but lacks vulnerability and is strangely encouraged to use a thick Brooklyn accent and far too much vibrato.

Two-time Tony winner Katie Finneran, who recently made a splash in "Promises, Promises," delivers a surprisingly hollow performance as Miss Hannigan, consisting entirely of shtick.

Anthony Warlow, an unknown Australian actor, is especially convincing as industrialist turned father "Daddy" Warbucks.

If there's anything to learn from this production, it's to keep Lapine far, far away from "The Sound of Music."

ANNIE Reviews
Posted by jv92 2012-11-08 19:38:17


Windman is not my favorite critic, but I'm glad Warlow's starting to get praise, even with the mild "especially convincing."

ANNIE Reviews
Posted by morosco 2012-11-08 19:52:30


Anthony Warlow, an unknown Australian actor, is especially convincing as industrialist turned father "Daddy" Warbucks.

Unknown? Well maybe he's unknown to many (if not most) in the U.S. but he's quite the star in Australia.

ANNIE Reviews
Posted by Princeton78 2012-11-08 19:57:31


I'm especially delighted to read that the first review out of the gate mentions the lack of the full overture.

ANNIE Reviews
Posted by morosco 2012-11-08 20:05:39


...overall, this is a winning presentation of an unapologetically sentimental show that tips its hat to an earlier era in musical theater, before the age of cynicism and industrial spectacle redefined the Broadway model.

ANNIE Reviews
Posted by bdn223 2012-11-08 20:15:41


The hollywood reporter is basically a rave with a few reservations...

ANNIE Reviews
Posted by lynnetoomey 2012-11-08 20:24:18


Chicago Tribune (Jones)
Negative




http://touch.chicagotribune.com/#section/-1/article/p2p-73228027

ANNIE Reviews
Posted by jv92 2012-11-08 20:41:09


David Rooney is one of my favorite critics. His review was on-the-nose.

ANNIE Reviews
Posted by BroadwayBen 2012-11-08 20:56:04


Washington Post: Positive

http://www.washingtonpost.com/entertainment/theater_dance/for-annie-actress-on-broadway-the-sun-has-come-out/2012/11/08/69514322-29e1-11e2-aaa5-ac786110c486_story.html

ANNIE Reviews
Posted by BroadwayBen 2012-11-08 21:10:52


Newsday: Positive

http://www.newsday.com/entertainment/theater/annie-review-musical-is-relevant-today-1.4198569

ANNIE Reviews
Posted by jv92 2012-11-08 22:09:30


Times is up: mixed. But Brantley is a weird guy in writing THIS:

"As Warbucks, the tycoon who takes Annie in for Christmas as part of a public relations campaign but soon falls for the irresistible tyke, Anthony Warlow also ventures into naturalism, inflecting his songs with unexpected emotional variety. But once you start to think of Warbucks as a real person, his blossoming love for little Annie can register as a bit creepy in the age of “Law and Order: Special Victims Unit.”"

COME ON! It's friggin' ANNIE!

Anyway...

ANNIE Reviews
Posted by Jordan Catalano 2012-11-08 22:11:32


Oh, Jesus.

ANNIE Reviews
Posted by jv92 2012-11-08 22:13:28


Creepy? It was moving to watch Warlow's Warbucks warm up to the little orphan. I was in tears not just in "Something Was Missing", but "I Don't Need Anything But You" as well.

ANNIE Reviews
Posted by Deena Jones 2012-11-08 22:16:02


Yikes

ANNIE Reviews
Posted by Jordan Catalano 2012-11-08 22:17:16


I can think of a lot of things creepier than Daddy Warbucks. Like Ben Brantley, for one.

ANNIE Reviews
Posted by jv92 2012-11-08 22:19:25


Indeed, Jordan. I mean, it's ANNIE, not OEDIPUS.

ANNIE Reviews
Posted by beautywickedlover 2012-11-08 23:00:54


Entertainment Weekly gave the show an A- and praised the performances from Finneran and Crawford.


http://www.ew.com/ew/article/0,,20364394_20646050,00.html



ANNIE Reviews
Posted by bdn223 2012-11-08 23:06:03


Is it weird to say the I think Hurricane Sandy saved Annie from pans?!?!?!

I know it may seem weird but several of the reviews even reference Hurricane Sandy, and state that in the light of it, you can't help but fall in love in the overly optimistic Annie.

ANNIE Reviews
Posted by chanel 2012-11-08 23:08:53


Villagevoice.com fairly upbeat if mixed.

Finneran is a "gifted comic actress" and "interesting casting" but her performance "is as hit and miss as Hannigan's wobbly descent down a stairway."

Liked her "Little Girls," though.

http://blogs.villagevoice.com/dailymusto/2012/11/annie.php

ANNIE Reviews
Posted by NYadgal 2012-11-08 23:21:27


Ben Brantley is disturbed. And that part of his review is disturbing.

I'm glad for the positive reviews this show is getting. We DO need something to smile and feel hopeful about.

ANNIE Reviews
Posted by Jordan Catalano 2012-11-08 23:56:16


Hey there, Annie. Wanna spend Christmas with me?

ANNIE Reviews
Posted by CATSNYrevival 2012-11-08 23:59:27


^I'm glad Herbert is looking the other way and not at your avatar.

ANNIE Reviews
Posted by givesmevoice 2012-11-09 00:06:41


Wouldn't Herbert be more interested in Oliver?

ANNIE Reviews
Posted by FindingNamo 2012-11-09 00:09:35


Ben Brantley just has to stop.

ANNIE Reviews
Posted by Scottsacto 2012-11-09 00:47:30


^^^ Killing Me Jordan!!!! LMFAO! ^^^^

ANNIE Reviews
Posted by NewYorkTheater 2012-11-09 01:04:15


You could not count me an “Annie” aficionado before I saw its third Broadway production, which has opened tonight. “Annie” to me conjured up nothing but “Tomorrow” sung badly by generations of cloyingly precocious girls. But then again Sandy meant something different then as well.
Now, when Annie tells a cop that weather doesn’t bother her and then she sings to Sandy (!) that the sun will come up, well…as a nearby theatergoer Tweeted during intermission: “I can’t believe some sentimental clown kept crying during the first act of Annie, or that it was me.”

ANNIE Reviews
Posted by Smaxie 2012-11-09 08:19:50


Other major reviews not posted...

Wall Street Journal is a rave.
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323894704578106924093403596.html

Bloomberg News is a rave (4/4 stars)
http://www.businessweek.com/news/2012-11-08/ageless-annie-delights-broadway-sorry-jeremy-gerard

Bergen Record is a rave
http://www.northjersey.com/arts_entertainment/theater/178047031_Theater_review__Broadway_revival_of__Annie_.html

USA Today is positive (3.5/4 stars)
http://www.usatoday.com/story/life/2012/11/08/broadway-revival-annie/1683219/

NY Magazine is positive
http://www.vulture.com/2012/11/theater-review-annie.html

Time Out New York is positive (4/5 stars)
http://www.timeout.com/newyork/theater/annie

Backstage is positive (tho negative for Finneran)
http://www.backstage.com/review/ny-theater/broadway/annie-palace-theatre-james-lapine-katie-finneran/

New York Post is positive (3/4 stars)
http://www.nypost.com/p/entertainment/theater/sun_will_come_out_today_f8v3jqTNLIST0KolRNdXyM?utm_medium=rss&utm_content=Theater

Daily News is positive (3/5 stars)
http://www.nydailynews.com/entertainment/music-arts/theater-review-annie-broadway-article-1.1199159

ANNIE Reviews
Posted by Owen22 2012-11-09 08:54:05


Wow...these additional reviews sorta put a whole new spin on its reception. Thanks, Smaxie.

ANNIE Reviews
Posted by NYadgal 2012-11-09 10:35:00


Well deserved positive reviews!

SO happy for this production.

ANNIE Reviews
Posted by Kaplan18 2012-11-09 10:47:36


Some really nice reviews!!!

ANNIE Reviews
Posted by justafan2 2012-11-09 10:58:09


Jordan---you made my day---that is hysterical! :)
What is in Ben Brantley's head????
I enjoyed Annie---saw it Wednesday--very good cast (I saw Taylor Richardson as Annie---her performance was very strong, IMO) Loved Wardlow---(altho' now I think of him as Herbert)



ANNIE Reviews
Posted by sassylash3s 2012-11-09 11:34:14


I thought the overture was restored--did they cut it back down to half? Or was the "restored" overture only half-there to begin with?

ANNIE Reviews
Posted by ABB2357 2012-11-09 17:25:05




Even the dog playing Sandy is very skeptical of this production!

ANNIE Reviews
Posted by WiCkEDrOcKS 2012-11-09 18:58:17


^ My face every time Katie Finneran spoke during this production.

ANNIE Reviews
Posted by DivaBrigader 2012-11-09 20:05:53


Sandy is doing the McKayla Maroney #notimpressed face, LOL.

ANNIE Reviews
Posted by CarlosAlberto 2012-11-09 22:58:38


I am so glad this production of ANNIE received more positive than negative reviews because I felt that the majority of this board was expecting overall negative reviews so they could go off on a rampage. Glad they didn't get the chance.

ANNIE Reviews
Posted by Patash 2012-11-10 11:27:34


Oh CarlosAlberto, how naive you are. Why on earth would that stop them?

ANNIE Reviews
Posted by mb87 2012-11-10 15:42:10


will there be a recording of this revival since there was not one for the 20th?

ANNIE Reviews
Posted by degrassifan 2012-11-10 16:14:12


Wow, Ben Brantley's review rubbed me the wrong way. That's kinda rude to what he was alluding. Come on, it's freakin' ANNIE!

And, I'm glad this production is getting great reviews. Just like CarolosAlberto stated, people here were expecting negative reviews, so I'm glad it didn't turn out that way. Good for the cast, crew, and production team!

ANNIE Reviews
Posted by degrassifan 2012-11-10 16:14:21


Wow, Ben Brantley's review rubbed me the wrong way. That's kinda rude to what he was alluding. Come on, it's freakin' ANNIE!

And, I'm glad this production is getting great reviews. Just like CarolosAlberto stated, people here were expecting negative reviews, so I'm glad it didn't turn out that way. Good for the cast, crew, and production team!