Dress yourself in a smile and check out the ‘Annie’ timeless story

Published 10:29 am Wednesday, March 23, 2016

by Lauren Bradshaw

I am a redhead and I adore musicals… so I’m sure you can imagine what an important place Annie had in my childhood. I watched Aileen Quinn sing her butt off and Carol Burnett drunkenly stumble through the 1982 movie every single day for years. I even wrote a book report on Carol Burnett’s life to go along with my obsession. Okay, I am starting to get a little carried away with letting you know how much I love Annie. But suffice it to say, I love this story and the music so much and was really excited to see it for the first time, live on stage.

When I first heard they were reviving Annie for the Broadway stage, I tried to get to New York City to see it. But, that’s the good part about touring productions… Annie actually came to Washington, DC’s, National Theater. Of course, this production is a bit different than the film (and even the 1999 made-for-TV version starring Kathy Bates and Alicia Morton). But thankfully, the performances, music and even Sandy did an admirable job living up to the Annie name and made for a fun time at the theater.

I could (but didn’t) sing along to all of the songs made famous by Annie and her friends. From “Maybe” to “You’re Never Fully Dressed Without A Smile” and “It’s A Hard Knock Life”, all of the songs you know and love are featured. They even have another personal favorite song, “NYC”.

However, where the production did slightly falter is the inclusion of some lesser-known songs from the stage show, which made for really slow moments in the production (oh, and that terrible wig at the end!). No wonder the songs were cut from the movie. Songs like “We’d Like To Thank You, Herbert Hoover” and “A New Deal For Christmas” certainly wouldn’t have been missed. And I get it, they are staples from the Broadway show and are what set it apart from the movie version. However, for a show that expects a majority of their audience to be made of children, I noticed considerable restlessness during moments like these. But hey, at least these songs gave the ensemble a chance to show off their considerable talents.

If you’re a fan of Annie’s timeless story, you won’t go wrong by dressing yourself in a smile and checking out this production at National Theater. I know you’re going to like it there. But make sure you get your tickets quickly as this run in DC is short and at least opening night, it was crowded with fans, young and old, of the plucky redhead.

You can catch Annie at the National Theater March 15-20. Tickets can be purchased at http://thenationaldc.org/events/category/series/Annie/

My Review: B

LAUREN BRADSHAW grew up in Courtland, graduated from Southampton Academy and doubled-majored in foreign affairs and history at the University of Virginia. She lives in the Washington, D.C., area and can be reached at flickchickdc@gmail.com