Learn More About Annie Jr.

 

Full Synopsis


It is 3 A.M. on a chilly morning in early December 1933. Six orphans are asleep in the dormitory of the Girls' Annex of The New York City Municipal Orphanage. The orphans are Molly, the littlest, who is six; Kate, the next-to-littlest, who is seven; Tessie, the crybaby, who is ten; Pepper, the toughest, who is twelve; July, the quietest, who is thirteen; and Duffy, the biggest, who is also thirteen. Molly is just waking up from a dream and crying out for her mother. The other orphans wake up and begin arguing. Annie, who is eleven and has been up cleaning, runs in. Annie comforts Molly, who begs her to read the note that Annie's parents left when they abandoned her. Pepper reminds the group that they also left Annie one-half of a silver locket and kept the other half with a promise to reclaim her one day. Annie then pulls Molly close to her and sings about the parents she imagines, but has never known. The other orphans join her ("Maybe"). Thinking about her parents inspires Annie to run away from the orphanage to search for them. She packs a bag and is ready to leave when she is discovered by Miss Hannigan, the villainous director of the orphanage. Miss Hannigan makes all the orphans get up to scrub floors and strip the beds to "pay" for Annie's misbehavior. Their complaints that it is four o'clock in the morning fall on deaf ears. As they clean, the orphans complain about their difficult circumstances ("Hard-Knock Life").

In the morning, when Bundles McCloskey, the laundry man, comes to make a pick-up from the orphanage, the orphans take advantage of the fact he is flirting with Miss Hannigan and sneak Annie out of the building in a laundry bag. Realizing Annie has escaped, Miss Hannigan calls for the police as the orphans celebrate ("Hard-Knock Life – Reprise").

Annie is on a street lined with tenements when she encounters a mutt being chased by dog catchers. She rescues him and sings "Tomorrow," expressing her feelings that both she and the dog have to believe everything will be fine for them in the future. When a policeman makes her prove the mutt is her dog, she names it Sandy on the spot and then calls it to come to her. The dog miraculously responds, and they become a team.

Back at the orphanage, Miss Hannigan is being tormented by the orphans. She expresses her disgust with her lot in life as the keeper of "Little Girls." The policeman arrives and returns Annie. As Miss Hannigan is threatening Annie, Grace Farrell, an attractive and well-dressed young woman, enters, carrying an attaché case. She is the private secretary to the billionaire, Oliver Warbucks, who wants to invite an orphan to his mansion for Christmas. Annie campaigns for the opportunity, but Miss Hannigan does everything in her power to discredit Annie. Grace is instantly drawn to Annie and is determined to bring her to the Warbucks mansion. She demands that Miss Hannigan sign the required papers, and then she escorts Annie to a waiting limousine. Miss Hannigan fumes as the orphans celebrate ("Little Girls – Reprise").

Grace brings Annie to Mr. Warbucks' mansion and introduces her to the servants. Annie is in awe of her new surroundings, but she is made to feel completely welcome by the staff ("I Think I'm Gonna Like it Here"). Oliver Warbucks arrives on the scene. He is a powerful figure in the country and a pivotal player in the current economic crisis. He rarely stops thinking about business and is taken aback by Annie's appearance in his house. He had expected the orphan to be a boy and is puzzled by the prospect of dealing with a little girl. Yet, almost immediately, he feels a deep connection to Annie's spunk and personality, which remind him of his own humble beginnings. Contrary to his usual behavior, he decides to take a night off. Warbucks escorts Annie to see a movie at the Roxy, then treats her to an ice cream soda and a hansom cab ride around Central Park.

As she tours New York with Warbucks and Grace, Annie sees the city in a new way ("N.Y.C.") At the end of the evening, Annie is exhausted and Warbucks carries her home. As they leave Times Square, the faithful Sandy enters and then forlornly wanders off in search of Annie.

Grace arrives at the orphanage to tell Miss Hannigan that Oliver Warbucks wants to adopt Annie. She leaves just as Miss Hannigan's brother, Rooster, arrives with his girlfriend, Lily. Rooster has come to borrow money from his sister. Miss Hannigan shares the news of Annie's pending adoption by Warbucks. The siblings lament their misfortunes ("Easy Street").

Warbucks is talking to the President of the United States, Franklin D. Roosevelt. A package from Tiffany & Co. arrives, containing a silver locket for Annie. Warbucks tells Annie that he wants to adopt her and gives her the locket. Instead of the happy response he imagined, Annie begins to weep. When he learns about her dream of finding her parents and the secret of the half-locket she has treasured for so long, he sets his own feelings aside and orders an exhaustive search for Annie's parents. Warbucks laments his loss, but is resolved to find Annie's real parents ("You Won't Be an Orphan for Long").

Annie and Warbucks are guests on the popular Bert Healy radio show ("Maybe – Reprise"). They make a plea for Annie's parents to return, and Warbucks offers $50,000 to anyone who can prove they are her mother and father.

The orphans are listening to Bert Healy's radio show and sing their own version of Bert Healy's signature song, "You're Never Fully Dressed without a Smile." Miss Hannigan, furious about Annie's good fortune, sends them out of the room. Rooster and Lily arrive, disguised as Ralph and Shirley Mudge, claiming to be Annie's parents. They reveal their identity to Miss Hannigan and share their plot to claim Annie and the $50,000 reward. Once they have the money, the trio plan to do away with Annie and live in the lap of luxury ("Easy Street – Reprise").

At the mansion, Annie and Warbucks discover that Grace has interviewed and dismissed hundreds of people claiming to be Annie's parents, but no one mentioned anything about a locket. The F.B.I. has also reported that the purchasers of the locket cannot be traced. It appears that Annie's quest cannot have a happy ending. Warbucks declares his intention to adopt Annie, and Annie accepts. Preparations are set in motion for a party to celebrate the adoption. Annie and Warbucks express their delight with the idea of becoming father and daughter ("I Don't Need Anything but You"). Just then, Rooster and Lily, disguised as Ralph and Shirley Mudge, appear with the other half of Annie's locket.

They also have Annie's birth certificate, which has been supplied by Miss Hannigan. They announce their intention to take Annie home to live with them in New Jersey. Warbucks convinces them to let Annie spend Christmas with him at the mansion. The Mudges can pick her up the next day. Rooster and Lily agree and leave. Everyone toasts Annie Mudge, but Annie breaks into tears and runs upstairs. Grace tells Warbucks that she feels she has seen Mudge before.

The next morning, Annie waits apprehensively for the Mudges to claim her ("Maybe – Second Reprise"). President Roosevelt arrives with the news that the F.B.I. has analyzed the handwriting on the note Annie's parents left behind to trace their identity. The investigation revealed that her real parents were named David and Margaret Bennett and that they are dead. The Mudges are impostors. Annie and Warbucks declare their love for each other. They realize only Miss Hannigan could have given the Mudges the locket and birth certificate. Miss Hannigan arrives with the orphans to celebrate Christmas. As the Mudges arrive to claim Annie, another communication from the F.B.I. reveals their true identities as Rooster and Lilly. Miss Hannigan tries to save herself by pretending to have no association with them and begins leading the orphans in Christmas carols. All three are hauled off to jail, and Roosevelt promises everyone that they will have a much better life in the future... a "New Deal" ("Tomorrow – Reprise"). A huge package arrives for Annie; when she opens it, Sandy jumps into her arms.

 

Original Broadway Cast


Sandy Faison Grace Farrell Robert Fitch Rooster Hannigan Dorothy Loudon Miss Hannigan Andrea McArdle Annie Reid Shelton Oliver Warbucks/Daddy" Warbucks Diana Barrows Tessie Laurie Beechman Sophie, Cecille, A Star to Be Danielle Brisebois Molly Shelley Bruce Kate Barbara Erwin Lily St. Regis Robyn Finn Pepper Donna Graham Duffy Janine Ruane July Raymond Thorne Harry Steven Boockvor Dog Catcher Edwin Bordo Drake Edie Cowan Mrs. Pugh Donald Craig Dog Catcher James Hosbein Bundles McCloskey Sandy Sandy

 

Learn More About The Authors


Music by Charles Strouse

 
charles_strouse_bio.jpg

A long-standing member of the Songwriters Hall of Fame, and in January 2002, an inductee into The Theater Hall of Fame, Charles Strouse's first Broadway musical, BYE BYE BIRDIE (1960), won him a Tony® Award and the London Critics Best Foreign Musical Award. In 1970, APPLAUSE, starring Lauren Bacall, achieved the same honors and his smash hit, ANNIE (1977), also won a Tony® for Best Score as well as two Grammy Awards®. Some of his other musicals include ALL AMERICAN, GOLDEN BOY (starring Sammy Davis Jr.), IT'S A BIRD, IT'S A PLANE, IT'S SUPERMAN, I AND ALBERT, directed in London by John Schlesinger, and DANCE A LITTLE CLOSER, written with Alan Jay Lerner. CHARLIE & ALGERNON won a 1981 Tony® nomination for Best Score, as did RAGS in 1987 and NICK AND NORA in 1992. He wrote both the music and lyrics for off-Broadway's MAYOR, and teamed again with Martin Charnin to create ANNIE WARBUCKS, the sequel to ANNIE. His film scores include BONNIE & CLYDE, THE NIGHT THEY RAIDED MINSKY'S, and ALL DOGS GO TO HEAVEN. Those Were The Days," the theme song for TV's ALL IN THE FAMILY is a Strouse song, with lyrics by his most frequent collaborator, Lee Adams. Born Too Late", a 1958 pop song written with Fred Tobias, was a top-10 BILLBOARD chart hit and is still heard on many oldies stations. The quadruple platinum album title song by Jay-Z, Hard Knock Life (Ghetto Anthem)", won the 1999 Grammy for the best Rap album, charted for more than a year and won the BILLBOARD 1998 R&B Album of the Year Award. Strouse's far-ranging talents include chamber and orchestral works, a piano concerto, a two-piano sonata, and operas. His latest choral work, The Child In Us All", premiered in Spring, 2000. NIGHTINGALE, an opera based on the Hans Christian Andersen story for which he wrote music, book and lyrics, was recorded by Sarah Brightman. Strouse was commissioned in 2001 to write CONCERTO AMERICA for the pianist Jeffrey Biegel. The work premiered in June 2002 with the Boston Pops at Symphony Hall. Charles Strouse created the ASCAP Musical Theatre Workshop in New York, where he encouraged the talents of countless young composers, writers and performers. In 1999, Strouse received the ASCAP Foundation Richard Rodgers Award for Career Lifetime Achievement in Musical Theatre. In December, 1995, a tv reinterpretation of the classic BYE BYE BIRDIE (starring Jason Alexander and pop-star Vanessa Williams) aired on ABC-TV. The 1995/96 Emmy for Outstanding Individual Achievement in Music and Lyrics was given to the new song written for and performed by Vanessa Williams: Let's Settle Down". Another tv interpretation in 1999, ANNIE, aired on ABC's Wonderful World of Disney, swept the ratings by winning over 40 million viewers, won the 1999 Peabody Award and 2 Emmy Awards. The show starred Kathy Bates, Audra McDonald, Alan Cumming, Kristin Chenoweth, Victor Garber, Andrea McArdle and Alicia Morton as Annie and ranked #1 as movie of the year. A revised GOLDEN BOY was produced by the Long Wharf Theatre in New Haven (November, 2000); and the ENCORES! Series presented the show in March, 2002. Future projects: GOLDEN BOY will be performed at the Greenwich Theatre in England in June, 2003. THE NIGHT THEY RAIDED MINSKY'S, which Charles Strouse originally scored for film, has been turned into a full-length musical. The Broadway-bound version has a book by the late Michael Okrent and Evan Hunter, lyrics by Susan Birkenhead. The Manhattan Theatre Club has scheduled the show for its 2003-04 season. An adaptation of the Paddy Chayevsky film MARTY, had a successful regional theatre run at Huntington Theatre in Boston in September, 2002. The show reunites Strouse with Lee Adams as lyricist; the book is by Rupert Holmes. John C Reilly starred in the Huntington production and will later again star when the show comes to Broadway next season.

Lyrics by Martin Charnin

martincharin.png

Martin Charnin created the role of Big Deal in the original Broadway company of West Side Story in 1957, the only acting job he ever had. He began writing during West Side and his first collaborator was Mary Rodgers. He has subsequently been the director, lyricist, composer, librettist, producer or a combination of the aforementioned, for over 140 theatrical productions, including Annie, Annie Warbucks, the Rock Opera version of Joan of Arc, Mata Hari, Loose Lips, Star-Crossed, Sid Caesar and Company, Carnal Knowledge, In Persons starring Eli Wallach and Anne Jackson, The Flowering Peach, Winchell, the revised Can Can by Cole Porter (for which he wrote a new libretto), Cafe Crown, Mike, Laughing Matters, The No Frills Revue, The First, On the Swing Shift, A Little Family Business, Upstairs at O'Neals, The National Lampoon Show, Lena Horne on Broadway, I Remember Mama, Hot Spot, Zenda, Put It In Writing, Fallout, Kaleidoscope, Ballad For A Firing Squad, La Strada, Nash at Nine, Music Music, Two by Two, And in London, Bar Mitzvah Boy, Bless the Bride, The 9 1/2 Quid Revue, and internationally and regionally, 17 productions of Annie. In the 60's and 70's he turned to Television and created 7 specials that garnered over 15 Emmy Awards, and the Peabody Award for Broadcasting. His collaborators have included Peter Allen, Harold Arlen,Vernon Duke, Keith Levenson, Michael Danziker, Peter Sipos, Mary Rodgers, Marvin Hamlisch, Richard Rodgers, and Charles Strouse. He has written for and directed among others, Fred Astaire, Jack Lemmon, Anne Bancroft, Lena Horne, Danny Kaye, Angela Lansbury, Johnny Mathis, Bill Murray,Jon Stewart, Bebe Neuwirth, Bernadette Peters, Sarah Jessica Parker, Gilda Radner, Molly Ringwald, Chita Rivera, Lou Reed, Susan Sarandon, Tim Robbins, Joan Rivers, Chuck D., Phoebe Snow, Shirley MacLaine, Marlo Thomas, Julianne Moore, Martha Plimpton, and Barbra Streisand. He is currently reviving Annie Warbucks, and Two by Two, and in 2019, audiences will see his new musical version of Robin Hood, written with Peter Sipos and Thomas Meehan, and later on that year, Wallenberg, written with Laurence Rosenthal, and Felicia Needleman. Charnin was the artistic director of Seattle's Showtunes for 7 years, before moving back to New York for the 4th incarnation of Annie on Broadway. He is also in the process of creating a one woman theatrical entertainment for his wife, Broadway and television star Shelly Burch.

Book by Thomas Meehan

thomas_meehan_bio.jpg

Thomas Meehan (Book) received the Tony Award for co-writing the book for The Producers in 2001 and in 2003 for co-writing the book for Hairspray. He received his first Tony Award in 1977 for writing the book of Annie, which was his first Broadway show, and has written the books for the musicals Rocky, Elf the Musical, Cry-Baby, Young Frankenstein, Chaplin, Bombay Dreams, I Remember Mama, Ain’t Broadway Grand and Annie Warbucks. In addition, he was a long-time contributor of humor to The New Yorker, an Emmy-Award winning writer of television comedy, and a collaborator on a number of screenplays, including Mel Brooks' Spaceballs and To Be Or Not To Be. Mr. Meehan was also a member of the Council of the Dramatists Guild. He and his wife, Carolyn, divided their time between a home in Nantucket and an apartment in Greenwich Village, near which, on Hudson Street, she owned and presided over the long-running and near-legendary children's store Peanut Butter & Jane. 

 
Rocco NataleOpen Arts Alliance