The Bonham-Carter Lovett vs. the Bates Hannigan

Auggie27 Profile PhotoAuggie27 Profile Photo
Auggie27
Broadway Legend
joined:10/13/03
Broadway Legend
joined:
10/13/03
Dawned on me that when Kathy Bates played Hannigan in the TV version of ANNIE, we heard some (though not as much) of the same grousing about a comic character being taken down a notch or three.

Bates refused to use the Loudon/Burnette boilerplate, and created a realistic, life-sized Miss Hannigan whose actions and reactions just seemed more grounded; she didn't even seem to be a musical comedy character, except when she segued into song. Even the excessive drinking was more poignantly scaled to suggest a somewhat troubled and lonely woman in a dead-end job on the cusp of middle-age.

Like Bonham-Carter, Bate didn't back away from the comedic plot demands -- after all, Hannigan is small-time monster (oddly, an American cousin of Nellie) -- but always refused to clown her up. Though her performance might not have stood out in stark contrast to the originals as much as Helena's, there was the element of re-invention within the demands of a different medium. Bates's work is always real, and when faced with a potential caricature -- the narcissist in SCHMIDT -- she carves out a fresh creation in life-sized terms.


"I'm a comedian, but in my spare time, things bother me." Garry Shandling
Updated On: 12/28/07 at 01:16 PM
nitsua Profile Photonitsua Profile Photo
nitsua
Broadway Legend
joined:11/25/07
Broadway Legend
joined:
11/25/07
I tried to watch ANNIE with Bates, but I hated it.

If I catch it, I'll try and watch it again.
"Writing is like prostitution. First, you do it for love, then you do it for a few friends, and finally you do it for money." ~ Moliere
Broadway Bound2
Broadway Star
joined:12/20/07
Broadway Star
joined:
12/20/07
It is hard for me to compare the Bates(Hannigan) and Bonham Carter(Lovett). First off when the Annie version came out with Bates I just couldn't see anyone do a better job as Carol Burnette, and I was right. The same goes with Lansbury and Bonham Carter, but Lansbury was a stage role and I really seem to always enjoy the stage version much better than the movie version.
I see where you can make comparisions between the two, but it is still hard for me to put the comparisions together.
Auggie27 Profile PhotoAuggie27 Profile Photo
Auggie27
Broadway Legend
joined:10/13/03
Broadway Legend
joined:
10/13/03
My basis for comparison here: two actors who mostly tosssed out the original take to find a new way into a character in a different medium. All comparions are odious, but I'm just resurrecting an example of a actor's departure from a well-known, one might say beloved, boilerplate.

By the way: when ANNIE first came out, there were plenty of folks who thought Burnette overcooked, too predictably ... Burnette. Go back and look at the reviews -- they were hardly all raves, and Carol's performance didn't result in much recognition in awards season. I'm also reminded of Roz Russell's take on Rosemary in PICNIC. She literally sounds like the stage actor: Eileen Heckart, in a couple of key moments. And Bette Davis famously said she had to use Talullah in her FOXES Regina.

Bonham-Carter, like Bates, opted to try and build the character from the ground up, or from the inside out.
"I'm a comedian, but in my spare time, things bother me." Garry Shandling
roquat
Broadway Legend
joined:5/25/05
Broadway Legend
joined:
5/25/05
Well, Kathy Bates could SING....

I'm not convinced by the "you can't give a big musical-comedy performance on camera" argument. Burnett (no "e", please) certainly found a way to make it work, even if it wasn't universally admired. While watching the Bates TV version I kept digitally pasting Burnett's performance as Hannigan over Bates' in my mind. It was strangely enjoyable.

I did the same thing while watching SWEENEY TODD, only with Toni Collette. Ms. Collette (who was considered for Lovett) has a wonderful film instinct; she would have acted AND sung the hell out of the part while keeping it balanced enough for the cameras.
I ask in all honesty/What would life be?/Without a song and a dance, what are we?/So I say "Thank you for the music/For giving it to me."
ray-andallthatjazz86 Profile Photoray-andallthatjazz86 Profile Photo
ray-andallthatjazz86
Broadway Legend
joined:8/2/05
Broadway Legend
joined:
8/2/05
Collette would have been brilliant but I guess she was deemed too young. Meryl Streep would also have been genius singing and acting that Sondheim score.
Yet, Bonham Carter was brilliant too, and at no point did I find myself missing anyone or hoping that someone else would play the role instead. I've seen the movie three times by now and she gives the most enjoyable, well-rounded, haunting, (and yes) hilarious performance in the movie.
Oh, and re ANNIE, I don't care for Burnett's Miss Hannigan, it is too predictable, too caricature. I'm a Loudon guy.
"Some people can thrive and bloom living life in a living room, that's perfect for some people of one hundred and five. But I at least gotta try, when I think of all the sights that I gotta see, all the places I gotta play, all the things that I gotta be at"
DBillyP Profile PhotoDBillyP Profile Photo
DBillyP
Broadway Legend
joined:6/15/04
Broadway Legend
joined:
6/15/04
I don't think there mere six years between Helena and Toni would have made a difference, though, for the life of me, I can't figure out what tipped the scales in Helena's favor ...
"I am open, and I am willing, For to be hopeless would seem so strange. It dishonors those who go before us, So lift me up to the light of change." Holly Near
best12bars Profile Photobest12bars Profile Photo
best12bars
Broadway Legend
joined:6/29/05
Broadway Legend
joined:
6/29/05
I thought Bates and Bonham Carter were both great!

Different than what had come before, but terrific nonetheless.

...and I'm glad I wasn't around here for the Bates-roasting. Sheeesh!
"Jaws is the Citizen Kane of movies."
blocked: logan2, Diamonds3, Hamilton22
Auggie27 Profile PhotoAuggie27 Profile Photo
Auggie27
Broadway Legend
joined:10/13/03
Broadway Legend
joined:
10/13/03
Well best, I agree. I don't think there was a here here, but you're right, Ms. Bates might not have been popular.

I remember looking forward to Nell Carter's Hannigan and being stunned by how little of it worked, despite her having bonafide musical theater chops.

There are many rethought roles within the same medium -- Lou Diamond Phillips KING was new and vital and boyish, but still had a whiff of Bryner.

And let's not forget the intense debate abou LuPone vs. Lansbury. (Well, the Doyle LuPone Lovett -- the NY Philharmonic LuPone Lovett was decidedly in the same mold; that one I know better from the dvd). I remember people fuming about her low-key way into "Worst Pies." Perhaps it's classically conceived in comparison to Helen's, but it was a wild departure from Lansbury's.
"I'm a comedian, but in my spare time, things bother me." Garry Shandling
Auggie27 Profile PhotoAuggie27 Profile Photo
Auggie27
Broadway Legend
joined:10/13/03
Broadway Legend
joined:
10/13/03
Well best, I agree. I don't think there was a here here, but you're right, Ms. Bates might not have been popular.

I remember looking forward to Nell Carter's Hannigan and being stunned by how little of it worked, despite her having bonafide musical theater chops.

There are many rethought roles within the same medium -- Lou Diamond Phillips KING was new and vital and boyish, but still had a whiff of Bryner.

And let's not forget the intense debate abou LuPone vs. Lansbury. (Well, the Doyle LuPone Lovett -- the NY Philharmonic LuPone Lovett was decidedly in the same mold; that one I know better from the dvd). I remember people fuming about her low-key way into "Worst Pies." Perhaps it's classically conceived in comparison to Helen's, but it was a wild departure from Lansbury's.
"I'm a comedian, but in my spare time, things bother me." Garry Shandling
Phyllis Rogers Stone
Suspended
joined:9/16/07
Suspended
joined:
9/16/07
Auggie, I remember being disappointed in Nell Carter, too. I thought the role would have fit her like a glove, and it was so awkward. I love Annie, but that revival was depressing. I liked the tv version as well.
best12bars Profile Photobest12bars Profile Photo
best12bars
Broadway Legend
joined:6/29/05
Broadway Legend
joined:
6/29/05
The TV version is easily the best (so far) outside of the original stage production.
"Jaws is the Citizen Kane of movies."
blocked: logan2, Diamonds3, Hamilton22
Glebb Profile PhotoGlebb Profile Photo
Glebb
Broadway Legend
joined:6/6/04
Broadway Legend
joined:
6/6/04
I adore the whole cast of the Bates "Annie".
" ...the happiness in the tune convinces me that I'm not afraid."
DBillyP Profile PhotoDBillyP Profile Photo
DBillyP
Broadway Legend
joined:6/15/04
Broadway Legend
joined:
6/15/04
I do, too, Glebb, but it still irritates me that Bates was given the scenes at the Warbucks mansion and not Chenoweth. It didn't make sense in the story, and I would have loved to see Kristin in those scenes.
"I am open, and I am willing, For to be hopeless would seem so strange. It dishonors those who go before us, So lift me up to the light of change." Holly Near
best12bars Profile Photobest12bars Profile Photo
best12bars
Broadway Legend
joined:6/29/05
Broadway Legend
joined:
6/29/05
Kristin wasn't known back then... and Bates was the star.

But looking back on it, that would have been nice. Didn't ruin it for me by any means, though.

I'm still waiting for Roscoe or The Enchanted Hunter to come in here and poop on our sentiments.

You know it's coming.
"Jaws is the Citizen Kane of movies."
blocked: logan2, Diamonds3, Hamilton22
ray-andallthatjazz86 Profile Photoray-andallthatjazz86 Profile Photo
ray-andallthatjazz86
Broadway Legend
joined:8/2/05
Broadway Legend
joined:
8/2/05
Haha, Besty you're lovely.
Apart from Bernadette Peters and Tim Curry, I completely prefer everyone from the TV movie over the feature film. I too would have loved seeing Chenoweth at the mansion but oh well.
We did get that scene with Chenoweth and the orphans that was pretty hilarious. She has charm to spare.
"Some people can thrive and bloom living life in a living room, that's perfect for some people of one hundred and five. But I at least gotta try, when I think of all the sights that I gotta see, all the places I gotta play, all the things that I gotta be at"
Phyllis Rogers Stone
Suspended
joined:9/16/07
Suspended
joined:
9/16/07
I'm still waiting for Roscoe or The Enchanted Hunter to come in here and poop on our sentiments.

Ahahahahahaha!

Roscoe prefers anything to Chicago. Even The Wiz!
best12bars Profile Photobest12bars Profile Photo
best12bars
Broadway Legend
joined:6/29/05
Broadway Legend
joined:
6/29/05
Roscoe prefers Breakin' 2: Electric Boogaloo over Chicago.
"Jaws is the Citizen Kane of movies."
blocked: logan2, Diamonds3, Hamilton22
DBillyP Profile PhotoDBillyP Profile Photo
DBillyP
Broadway Legend
joined:6/15/04
Broadway Legend
joined:
6/15/04
Oh, I knew why they did it, but it still irritates me. It was a poor decision artistically. It seems to me that, by that point in the movie, Kristin not being known didn't matter. It's not like Bates doing THAT scene was going to encourage her fans to watch. You know what I mean?
"I am open, and I am willing, For to be hopeless would seem so strange. It dishonors those who go before us, So lift me up to the light of change." Holly Near
Updated On: 12/28/07 at 08:05 PM
best12bars Profile Photobest12bars Profile Photo
best12bars
Broadway Legend
joined:6/29/05
Broadway Legend
joined:
6/29/05
They were beefing up Bates's part. She's an Oscar-winner, and the top draw for that TV version of Annie. She had just come off of that little indy film called "Titanic."

That's show biz.

...kinda like when Madonna took "Another Suitcase in Another Hall." Like she needed the one female song that Eva doesn't sing in the play.

...but she's not an Oscar-winner.
"Jaws is the Citizen Kane of movies."
blocked: logan2, Diamonds3, Hamilton22
Auggie27 Profile PhotoAuggie27 Profile Photo
Auggie27
Broadway Legend
joined:10/13/03
Broadway Legend
joined:
10/13/03
I feel compelled to rewatch the TV ANNIE. These posts have made me curious -- and I started the thread.
"I'm a comedian, but in my spare time, things bother me." Garry Shandling
DBillyP Profile PhotoDBillyP Profile Photo
DBillyP
Broadway Legend
joined:6/15/04
Broadway Legend
joined:
6/15/04
Again, may I say, "Oh, I knew why they did it, but it still irritates me. It was a poor decision artistically."

re: The Bonham Carter Lovett vs. the Bates Hannigan
"I am open, and I am willing, For to be hopeless would seem so strange. It dishonors those who go before us, So lift me up to the light of change." Holly Near
roquat
Broadway Legend
joined:5/25/05
Broadway Legend
joined:
5/25/05
No kidding. The idea that Annie, Grace, and Warbucks didn't recognize Hannigan between them (because she was wearing glasses and a pageboy? She didn't even disguise her voice!) was ridiculous.
I ask in all honesty/What would life be?/Without a song and a dance, what are we?/So I say "Thank you for the music/For giving it to me."
best12bars Profile Photobest12bars Profile Photo
best12bars
Broadway Legend
joined:6/29/05
Broadway Legend
joined:
6/29/05
Leapin' lizzards!

It's a friggin' comic strip musical.
"Jaws is the Citizen Kane of movies."
blocked: logan2, Diamonds3, Hamilton22
soapguy17 Profile Photosoapguy17 Profile Photo
soapguy17
Broadway Legend
joined:9/25/05
Broadway Legend
joined:
9/25/05
kinda like when Madonna took "Another Suitcase in Another Hall." Like she needed the one female song that Eva doesn't sing in the play.

I got angry and began to throw things at the screen when I realized that.
I have NEVER met Cheyenne Jackson. I have never hung out with him in his dressing room, he did not tweet me, he never bought me a beverage, and he mostly certainly didn't tickle me. . .that is all.