Annie

Annie is a Broadway musical based upon the popular Harold Gray comic strip Little Orphan Annie, with music by Charles Strouse, lyrics by Martin Charnin, and the book by Thomas Meehan. The musical ran for nearly six years on Broadway, setting a record for the Alvin Theatre (now the Neil Simon Theatre). It spawned numerous productions in many countries, as well as national tours, and won the Tony Award for Best Musical. The musical’s songs “Tomorrow” and “It’s the Hard-Knock Life” are its more popular pieces.

The Columbia Pictures film was released in 1982, with Albert Finney starring as Daddy Warbucks, Carol Burnett as Miss Hannigan, Ann Reinking as Grace Farrell, Tim Curry as Rooster, Bernadette Peters as Lily, and Aileen Quinn as Annie.

Annie (11 years old) is living in the Municipal Orphanage on New York’s Lower East Side. Miss Hannigan is the principal in charge of the orphanage and needs no lessons on being compared to the wicked witch of the West. Annie decides to escape and try and find her parents. Naturally this proves unsuccessful. However, Grace Farrell, secretary to the millionaire Oliver Warbucks is searching for an orphan that she might invite back to the Warbucks’ household to celebrate Christmas.

Despite Warbucks’ initial disappointment that Grace has not found a boy, Oliver takes to her and institutes a nationwide search to try and find the little girl’s real parents. Miss Hannigan interferes and primes her brother Rooster and his girlfriend, Lily suggesting that they claim Annie as their daughter and thus the reward that goes with the information.

Meanwhile Annie is in Washington cheering up the president, Franklin D Roosevelt. However, Rooster and Lily turn up at the Warbucks’ and claim Annie – and the reward. Grace, however, has seen Rooster at Miss Hannigan’s office and smells a rat. Subsequently the couple’s fraudulent claim is exposed – at the same time it is discovered that Annie’s parents had, in fact, died some time ago. Warbucks plans to adopt Annie and her fellow orphans are invited back to the Warbucks’ home to share in the festival of Christmas – just as America looks forward to future prosperity in the wake of the depression.

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