Annie on Broadway: a Wonderful Night at the Theater

Annie has always been a favorite musical of mine. I just love the music and the story. When I was younger I would watch the movie on repeat and sing the songs by memory (much to the chagrin of my parents).


So when it was announced that it was coming back to Broadway, I knew that I needed to go! I saw the show last week at the Palace Theater and thought it was a great revival of a Broadway classic. If you know the show and music, then this revival has everything you love. The ending is a bit different from the movie as it would be difficult to feature a helicopter scene on stage. The sets were dynamic; the scenes transformed before our eyes in a natural way that integrated the story and characters.

Now let’s talk about the cast. In short, they were fantastic. Anthony Warlow fittingly played the part of Daddy Warbucks and does so in the same style as portrayed in the movie “Annie”. The cast of orphans played by five young girls were impressive. They had strong voices, were funny, acted well, and captured the hearts of the audience.

Two of the largest roles in the show were ones that I didn’t love. Katie Finneran played Miss Hannigan and she tried to do so in the same way that Carol Burnett did two decades ago. The problem with that was that the humorous voice that Carol did was her natural singing voice. Katie Finneran’s voice is great, but when she went into the highs and lows that Carol Burnett perfected for humor came off as a bit overdone. She was a funny actress and good dancer though.


It also breaks my heart to say this, but I didn’t love the actress who played Annie, Lilla Crawford. While she acted well and can belt a song with the best of Broadway, she did the whole show in a thick 1920 New York accent. It makes sense to talk that way, but to continue to do so while singing was distracting. There were glimmers of Lilla’s natural voice, though, and it was exceptional. She is talented… actually, she is beyond talented. I just wish the director didn’t force her to use the accent even while singing out the show’s memorable soundtrack.

In the end, my biggest complaint is that Sandy wasn’t in the show as often as I would have liked. Other than that and a few minor issues with the character’s singing, Annie was a wonderful show that the whole family could enjoy together.