ANNIE Reviews

LimelightMike
Broadway Legend
joined:6/21/06
ANNIE Reviews
Posted: 11/8/12 at 04:22am
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!
LimelightMike's 2010-2011 Theatergoing Schedule: THE PITMEN PAINTERS (10.03.10) A LIFE IN THE THEATRE (10.10.10) BLOODY BLOODY ANDREW JACKSON (10.16.10) THE SCOTTSBORO BOYS (11.06.10) WOMEN ON THE VERGE OF A NERVOUS BREAKDOWN (11.13.10) BRIEF ENCOUNTER (11.22.10) THE PEE-WEE HERMAN SHOW (11.28.10) LA BETE (12.23.10) A SMALL FIRE (01.13.11) THAT CHAMPIONSHIP SEASON (03.09.11) ARCADIA (03.16.11) BLACK TIE (03.19.11) PRISCILLA: QUEEN OF THE DESERT (03.21.11) THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST (03.26.11) BENGAL TIGER AT THE BAGHDAD ZOO (03.30.11) GHETTO KLOWN (03.31.11) HOW TO SUCCEED... (04.07.11) ANYTHING GOES (04.12.11) JERUSALEM (04.20.11) SISTER ACT (04.29.11) iHO: (05.22.11)
bwayphreak234
Broadway Legend
joined:7/4/10
ANNIE Reviews
Posted: 11/8/12 at 04:47am
I'm expecting mixed reviews across the board on this one. I'm interested to see what critics think of Finneran.
"There’s nothing quite like the power and the passion of Broadway music. "
henrikegerman
Broadway Legend
joined:4/29/05
ANNIE Reviews
Posted: 11/8/12 at 12:18pm
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!
FANtomFollies
Featured Actor
joined:4/5/12
ANNIE Reviews
Posted: 11/8/12 at 01:29pm
hasn't Katie already given the performance that will be reviewed? I thought the critics performance was usually a few days before opening night...
henrikegerman
Broadway Legend
joined:4/29/05
ANNIE Reviews
Posted: 11/8/12 at 02:01pm
Oh, yeah, good point. In that case, here's hoping she's already stepped up to the plate.

Updated On: 11/8/12 at 02:01 PM
lynnetoomey
Understudy
joined:5/8/09
ANNIE Reviews
Posted: 11/8/12 at 07:14pm
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."
Updated On: 11/8/12 at 07:14 PM
jv92
Broadway Legend
joined:11/4/05
ANNIE Reviews
Posted: 11/8/12 at 07:38pm
Windman is not my favorite critic, but I'm glad Warlow's starting to get praise, even with the mild "especially convincing."
morosco
Broadway Legend
joined:7/10/04
ANNIE Reviews
Posted: 11/8/12 at 07:52pm
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.

Princeton78
Broadway Legend
joined:8/17/04
ANNIE Reviews
Posted: 11/8/12 at 07:57pm
I'm especially delighted to read that the first review out of the gate mentions the lack of the full overture.
"Y'all have a GRAND day now"
morosco
Broadway Legend
joined:7/10/04
ANNIE Reviews
Posted: 11/8/12 at 08:05pm
...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.
The Hollywood Reporter
bdn223
Broadway Star
joined:6/14/08
ANNIE Reviews
Posted: 11/8/12 at 08:15pm
The hollywood reporter is basically a rave with a few reservations...
lynnetoomey
Understudy
joined:5/8/09
ANNIE Reviews
Posted: 11/8/12 at 08:24pm
jv92
Broadway Legend
joined:11/4/05
ANNIE Reviews
Posted: 11/8/12 at 08:41pm
David Rooney is one of my favorite critics. His review was on-the-nose.
BroadwayBen
Leading Actor
joined:6/5/03
jv92
Broadway Legend
joined:11/4/05
ANNIE Reviews
Posted: 11/8/12 at 10:09pm
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...

TImes Review
Jordan Catalano
Broadway Legend
joined:10/9/05
ANNIE Reviews
Posted: 11/8/12 at 10:11pm
Oh, Jesus.
jv92
Broadway Legend
joined:11/4/05
ANNIE Reviews
Posted: 11/8/12 at 10:13pm
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.
Deena Jones
Broadway Legend
joined:5/27/03
ANNIE Reviews
Posted: 11/8/12 at 10:16pm
Yikes
Jordan Catalano
Broadway Legend
joined:10/9/05
ANNIE Reviews
Posted: 11/8/12 at 10:17pm
I can think of a lot of things creepier than Daddy Warbucks. Like Ben Brantley, for one.

Updated On: 11/8/12 at 10:17 PM
jv92
Broadway Legend
joined:11/4/05
ANNIE Reviews
Posted: 11/8/12 at 10:19pm
Indeed, Jordan. I mean, it's ANNIE, not OEDIPUS.
beautywickedlover
Broadway Legend
joined:6/28/07
ANNIE Reviews
Posted: 11/8/12 at 11:00pm
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



Updated On: 11/8/12 at 11:00 PM
bdn223
Broadway Star
joined:6/14/08
ANNIE Reviews
Posted: 11/8/12 at 11:06pm
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.
chanel
Featured Actor
joined:1/28/04
ANNIE Reviews
Posted: 11/8/12 at 11:08pm
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
NYadgal
Broadway Legend
joined:5/18/04
ANNIE Reviews
Posted: 11/8/12 at 11:21pm
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.
"Two drifters off to see the world... there's such a lot of world to see"
Jordan Catalano
Broadway Legend
joined:10/9/05
ANNIE Reviews
Posted: 11/8/12 at 11:56pm
Hey there, Annie. Wanna spend Christmas with me?


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