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ANNIE: Why was Dorothy Loudon so great?

zamedy
Broadway Star
joined:6/27/07
ANNIE: Why was Dorothy Loudon so great?
Posted: 10/17/12 at 02:59pm
I've enjoyed reading everyone's take on the ANNIE previews.. especially from those who are able to compare it to the original production. I'm in awe of Dorothy Loudon's performance of 'Easy Street' from the Tonys that year and I'm curious to hear.. from those who saw her defining performance as the original Miss Hannigan.. about the things she did that made her so brilliant in that role.. and what it was like to watch her perform in person.

Wilmingtom
Broadway Legend
joined:7/18/11
ANNIE: Why was Dorothy Loudon so great?
Posted: 10/17/12 at 03:18pm
You've already seen what made her special and in person, even better. She had extraordinary presence, was a gifted comedienne (including physical comedy), and could sing up a storm. And no one conveyed the utter joy of being onstage the way she did.
Gothampc
Broadway Legend
joined:5/20/03
ANNIE: Why was Dorothy Loudon so great?
Posted: 10/17/12 at 03:20pm
I think what made Loudon so fabulous was that it was a performance straight out of vaudeville. It was a big, bold performance chock full of every comic trick in the book, and she made it work brilliantly.


Loudon's Hannigan
If anyone ever tells you that you put too much Parmesan cheese on your pasta, stop talking to them. You don't need that kind of negativity in your life.
Updated On: 10/17/12 at 03:20 PM
Wilmingtom
Broadway Legend
joined:7/18/11
ANNIE: Why was Dorothy Loudon so great?
Posted: 10/17/12 at 03:25pm
^ Re: your link:

"The YouTube account associated with this video has been terminated due to multiple third-party notifications of copyright infringement. Sorry about that."

They're sorry. Imagine how *you* feel.
Gothampc
Broadway Legend
joined:5/20/03
ANNIE: Why was Dorothy Loudon so great?
Posted: 10/17/12 at 03:26pm
Wilmingtom, I just watched that video 30 seconds before I posted.
If anyone ever tells you that you put too much Parmesan cheese on your pasta, stop talking to them. You don't need that kind of negativity in your life.
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CurtainPullDowner
Broadway Legend
joined:11/4/04
ANNIE: Why was Dorothy Loudon so great?
Posted: 10/17/12 at 06:12pm
When this show came along Louden was pumped and ready for this role. As others stated, she was able to bring a great voice, old school brilliant comedy timing and the energy of Lance Armstrong on steroids. She walked the tightrope of cartoon and reality like no other, and she always seemed to be having a fabulous time. Louden doing Hannigan was KISMET!
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Jordan Catalano
Broadway Legend
joined:10/9/05
ANNIE: Why was Dorothy Loudon so great?
Posted: 10/17/12 at 06:21pm
And because she was so good, nobody will ever be able to be good in any role she created/replaced/read for/dreamed about and if you have the nerve to enjoy someone else in any of those roles, you're just a kid and too young to understand what true talent is.
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JimCo
Chorus Member
joined:1/2/09
ANNIE: Why was Dorothy Loudon so great?
Posted: 10/17/12 at 07:02pm
Dorothy Loudon had her own brand of comedy. It was steeped in realism. Her performance in ANNIE was the funniest performance by a woman I have ever seen on Broadway or anywhere else. I had the pleasure of working with her when she replaced Angela Lansbury in SWEENEY TODD. She was an original, that's all there is to say. It's too bad her performance in ANNIE was not preserved for all to say. I'm pretty sure it exists at the Lincoln Center Library for the performing arts. What a joy she was!
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DAME
Broadway Legend
joined:4/15/04
ANNIE: Why was Dorothy Loudon so great?
Posted: 10/17/12 at 07:03pm
The thing about Loudon is that even if it was a vaudevillian performance.. she was so committed and so believable that it all worked. Hannigan was totally brought to life. And the audience LOVED her.
HUSSY POWER! ------ HUSSY POWER!
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morosco
Broadway Legend
joined:7/10/04
ANNIE: Why was Dorothy Loudon so great?
Posted: 10/17/12 at 07:10pm
She could make an entrance and connect with the audience instantly. Within moments she would have everyone eating out of the palm of her hands. A very rare talent. I miss her.
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DivaBrigader
Leading Actor
joined:12/13/04
ANNIE: Why was Dorothy Loudon so great?
Posted: 10/17/12 at 07:22pm
I believe the preserved performance at Lincoln Center features Alice Ghostley as Miss Hannigan (and Allison Smith as Annie) but there is an audio of opening night on Broadway on YouTube.
Bialyhoos22
Stand-by
joined:12/21/05
ANNIE: Why was Dorothy Loudon so great?
Posted: 10/17/12 at 07:38pm
Unfortunately, the Lincoln Center recording took place just months before the show closed in 1983. It actually captured June Havoc as Hannigan (I believe Michael Calkins was Rooster). While Havoc was fine, the show felt quite a bit different from even the Betty Hutton/Gary Beach cast, 3 years earlier. Not quite as authentic...or as period...it felt very mechanical.

It's a shame video of the OBC never surfaced beyond the official Tony Awards and Xmas special performances.
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best12bars
Broadway Legend
joined:6/29/05
ANNIE: Why was Dorothy Loudon so great?
Posted: 10/17/12 at 07:55pm
I saw Jane Connell (Gooch from "Mame") as Hannigan in the tour, and she was wonderful.
"Jaws is the Citizen Kane of movies."
blocked: logan2, Diamonds3
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best12bars
Broadway Legend
joined:6/29/05
ANNIE: Why was Dorothy Loudon so great?
Posted: 10/17/12 at 08:55pm
Watch this, and maybe you'll understand what made Dorothy Loudon so great.

Vodka
"Jaws is the Citizen Kane of movies."
blocked: logan2, Diamonds3
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CurtainPullDowner
Broadway Legend
joined:11/4/04
ANNIE: Why was Dorothy Loudon so great?
Posted: 10/17/12 at 09:34pm
Hysterical.
So that's where Miss Ross got the "wait in the car" bit,
and Dottie probably stole it from a cavewoman.
donte7162004
Understudy
joined:7/12/10
ANNIE: Why was Dorothy Loudon so great?
Posted: 10/17/12 at 09:46pm
When I think of Miss Hannigan, I think of her...she was so original, I'm not sure anyone could take her place.....
ggersten
Broadway Legend
joined:5/11/06
ANNIE: Why was Dorothy Loudon so great?
Posted: 10/17/12 at 10:08pm
Thanks for that video of "Vodka". But as great as Ms. Loudon was with her comedy, she could nail the emotion in non-comic numbers.
I get chills listening to "50 Percent" every time.

Updated On: 10/17/12 at 10:08 PM
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ComingUpRoses2
Leading Actor
joined:3/14/11
ANNIE: Why was Dorothy Loudon so great?
Posted: 10/18/12 at 12:31am
Her "Fifty Percent" from Ballroom really is one of the most moving things I've ever seen/heard. It brings tears to my eyes every damn time. Her "Losing My Mind/You Could Drive A Person Crazy" medley showcased both sides of her talent. It's both moving and hysterical.
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alterego
Broadway Legend
joined:6/5/03
ANNIE: Why was Dorothy Loudon so great?
Posted: 10/18/12 at 07:35am
I saw Dorothy Loudon as Hannigan in 1978 three days before she left the show and she was wonderful. I also saw Sheila Hancock play the role in London who was pretty good (but no Loudon). I saw Jane Connell play the role in Los Angeles and found her pedestrian and unfunny.

I think what made her characterisation so good was her delivery was so...unexpected. (Have we seen so many Hannigans over the years that there seems nowhere new for the actresses to take her?).

I still remember the pitiful look on her face as she looked at the orphans and said "Why any kid would want to be an orphan I'll never know" (exit). She brought the house down.



Updated On: 10/18/12 at 07:35 AM
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DottieD'Luscia
Broadway Legend
joined:7/23/03
ANNIE: Why was Dorothy Loudon so great?
Posted: 10/18/12 at 08:50am
My only exposure to Dorothy Loudon was in the original production of Annie and Jerry's Girls. She was given most of the comedic material in Jerry's Girls with one exception. I believe it was in the 2nd Act where she came out to sing a torch song. The audience being accustomed to her making them laugh, immediately started laughing the second she made her entrance for that song, only to realize she was being serious (and quite wonderful as well). There isn't a song list published on IBDB, so I don't remember which particular song I am referring to.
Hey Dottie! Did your colleagues enjoy the cake even though your cat decided to sit on it? ~GuyfromGermany
Gothampc
Broadway Legend
joined:5/20/03
ANNIE: Why was Dorothy Loudon so great?
Posted: 10/18/12 at 10:09am
Dorothy Loudon was great in Annie for another reason. When Annie came to Broadway, everyone was raving about Andrea McArdle. Here was this young girl who was being compared to Judy Garland. The hype was all about McArdle. Loudon gets up there and turns in one of the greatest performances of the decade (and giving credit where credit is due Robert Fitch and Barbara Erwin were icing on the cake). Loudon balanced the show out so that the audience wasn't just sitting waiting for the little girl with the big voice to return to the stage.
If anyone ever tells you that you put too much Parmesan cheese on your pasta, stop talking to them. You don't need that kind of negativity in your life.
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morosco
Broadway Legend
joined:7/10/04
ANNIE: Why was Dorothy Loudon so great?
Posted: 10/18/12 at 10:46am
I still remember the pitiful look on her face as she looked at the orphans and said "Why any kid would want to be an orphan I'll never know" (exit). She brought the house down.

From what I understand she had ad-libbed that line in rehearsal and they kept it.
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morosco
Broadway Legend
joined:7/10/04
ANNIE: Why was Dorothy Loudon so great?
Posted: 10/18/12 at 10:46am
double post
Updated On: 10/18/12 at 10:46 AM
beaemma
Stand-by
joined:11/24/09
ANNIE: Why was Dorothy Loudon so great?
Posted: 10/18/12 at 01:55pm
Regarding the "Why any kid would want to be an orphan . . . " line, the other actresses I've seen in the role sock it over and wait for the laugh. Loudon was funnier because she threw it in as an aside on her way out. She had a way of coming at a funny line sideways that was hilarious. She didn't stand there with a "Here's the punch line, folks!" attitude.

Her torch song in JERRY'S GIRLS was "Time Heals Everything."
Gothampc
Broadway Legend
joined:5/20/03
ANNIE: Why was Dorothy Loudon so great?
Posted: 10/18/12 at 02:21pm
"Loudon was funnier because she threw it in as an aside on her way out."

Which shows what a class act she was. She didn't need to stand onstage and absorb the reaction. She knew that a good exit could be spiced by a great line. All these many years later, you remember the exit. Always leave them wanting more!
If anyone ever tells you that you put too much Parmesan cheese on your pasta, stop talking to them. You don't need that kind of negativity in your life.
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DottieD'Luscia
Broadway Legend
joined:7/23/03
ANNIE: Why was Dorothy Loudon so great?
Posted: 10/18/12 at 02:32pm
Thank you, Beaemma. Did my recollection serve me correctly?
Hey Dottie! Did your colleagues enjoy the cake even though your cat decided to sit on it? ~GuyfromGermany

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