October 22 - November 21, 2010
ANNIE. Book by Thomas Meehan, Music by Charles Strouse, Lyrics by Martin Charnin Based on the comic strip “Little Orphan Annie” by Harold Gray. Directed by Jane Staab. Musical Direction by Steven Bergman. Scenic Design by Anita Fuchs. Costume Design by Lisa Simpson. Choreography by Laurel Conrad. Lighting Design by Scott Clyve. With Grace Brakeman as Annie and Cheryl McMahon as Mrs. Hannigan “The sun’ll come out tomorrow” sings the feisty, red-headed title character of the classic Broadway musical Annie. When Annie sings about her personal yearning for a better “tomorrow,” she not only offers the audience a hummable melody, but—more symbolically—she encapsulates the zeitgeist of Depression-era America in one rousing refrain. The musical’s story is not ripped from the headlines, but, rather, the funnies.
Inspired by Harold Gray’s weekly comic strip “Little Orphan Annie,” which saw its debut in 1924, the musical follows the trials and triumphs of its exuberant protagonist Annie who, along with several other girls, resides in a dreary New York City orphanage under the protection of their negligent guardian, Ms. Hannigan. Convinced that her parents will “Maybe” return for her one day, Annie remains hopeful even in the face of loneliness and poverty. Everything changes, however, when millionaire Oliver Warbucks—as a public image gesture—adopts Annie (and, of course, her lovable dog Sandy), reluctantly welcoming the pair into his lavish lifestyle.
At its core, Annie is a story about the powerful harmony (musical and otherwise) that can exist between children and adults, a bond that breaches socioeconomic and cultural barriers, and ultimately proves that it matters not from whom children receive love and affection, but that children know they are loved.