Annie Live

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Kathleen Baxter

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Dec 2, 2021, 11:40:35 PM12/2/21
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So what did everyone think 

Julie Stevens

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Dec 3, 2021, 9:34:52 AM12/3/21
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Honestly, I couldn't get through it. It was so similar to the 1983 film that I think I would have preferred to just watch that one. This one did not feel like it was honoring the stage version.

Julie

Michael Poteet

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Dec 10, 2021, 4:02:23 PM12/10/21
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I was all on board with the way they'd shaped the show (especially the inclusion of "Sing" so Warbucks and Hannigan have a number together on stage) until the very last scene. "Redeeming" Miss Hannigan really isn't necessary and denies the story its almost fairy tale-esque ending of all the bad guys, not just Rooster and Lily, getting their just deserts. It also eliminates any need for the "What's the one thing I always taught you?" setup in Act 1 if Annie doesn't get to give the payoff in Act 2.

Aside from that, I thoroughly enjoyed the show. Celina Smith has a phenomenal voice and plays sad Annie better than anyone I've seen. I thought Taraji P. Henson made a fabulous Miss Hannigan. I think it's a shame they didn't make Harry Connick shave his head to play Warbucks, as his bald cap became a distraction. But all in all, a very strong and enjoyable production.

Respectfully submitted,
Mike Poteet

Tricia T

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Feb 27, 2022, 12:09:48 PMFeb 27
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I had kept my expectations low, so I wasn't terribly disappointed that this was not a "definitive" version of the stage show translated to tv. As we know, the book/lyrics/staging has been changing since the 1997 revival: no more corporal punishment, shortening of Hooverville, re-ordering of "I Don't Need..." etc etc. So the real original Broadway version of "Annie" has become lost. I was very surprised at the inclusion of two songs from the 1982 movie.  But as Mike pointed out, if something is set up in Act I there should be the payoff in Act 2. Having Rooster bump into Warbucks coming into the orphanage for "Sign!" doesn't pay off if Rooster bumps into Drake instead in Act 2. If I'm feeling generous, I would give the production an overall B-

Michael Poteet

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Mar 1, 2022, 4:02:00 PMMar 1
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I had forgotten about the lack of corporal punishment. I did notice again that "Lou Gehrig" has become "Babe Ruth" at some point. (And yet we still have Don Budge name-checked in "I Think I'm Gonna Like It Here"). I am curious - how has the Hooverville sequence been shortened? Thanks.

Kathleen Baxter

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Mar 3, 2022, 4:03:24 PMMar 3
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I think that they removed the corporal punishment in the 20th anniversary production to please Nell Carter because she was against it and they just decided to keep it out of the play. It is interesting that they haven’t removed it from Annie jr.

Tricia T

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Mar 5, 2022, 2:56:53 PMMar 5
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I checked some of the copious notes I took when seeing the 1997 Revival multiple times. The corporal punishment must have been removed during the rehearsal process, because it was one of the first omissions I noticed during previews (March 1997). By late April/early May, SEVENTEEN MINUTES had been cut out of the show, and cast members told me these cuts and changes were at the request of the producers who claimed the historical aspects of the show made children in the audience "fidgety," and were not "relevant" to the family audience. The ENTIRE Hooverville scene was removed at this time, and the Cabinet scene was shortened, among other dialogue which was cut. However, the extra song specifically added for Nell Carter for this production, "You Make Me Happy," remained.

By the time the 1997 revival morphed into a tour for 1998, the allegedly-obscure name-drops like Tommy Manville, Lou Gehrig, Agent Gunderson, and John Dillinger were changed to more well-known names of John D. Rockefeller, Babe Ruth, Agent Elliot Ness, and Al Capone, respectively. 

By 1999, Hooverville was partially restored. A significant change is having Annie and Sandy enter at the BEGINNING of the scene, which gives them more stage time, but takes away from the impact of the Hooverville-ites singing. The second verse of the song was not restored ("They offered us Al Smith and Hoover/we paid attention and we chose..."). Dialogue was re-arranged and cut as well to make the current scene shorter than it was in the Original production.

Doug Fowler

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Sep 26, 2022, 7:19:16 PM (10 days ago) Sep 26
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I had a bunch of comments on the old board that didn't make it over, but this helps me organize things a bit. (Somehow can post on my tablet but can't figure it out otherwise )

Lack of corporal punishment - you can actually argue for this being realistic in universe. Locking a kid in a damp, dark cellar is actually *more sinister* given it'd probably be for hours, and they might not get fed. (Is this why Annie's shorter?) It's more MIss Hannigan-esque. Although if you want to argue that for running away it's more likely to be used, I wouldn't quibble.

The big thing for me is that if these girls are told "never tell a lie", Miss Hannigan can't use it regularly. Why? If they get hit for not sewing well enough, guess what? They *have* to tell the truth next time the inspections come - or just to Mr. Bundles - and her whole illegal operation goes up in smoke. (They'd have an orphanage inspection and perhaps a "factory inspection," too, if th place is a reistered company, though that's debatable. I don't know if she'd get enough business without listing it.)

Miss Hannigan *has* to hide her illegal sewing operation. She has to know the girls will tell the truth when asked. "No, Miss Hannigan drinks a lot but she's never hit us." Or, at worst, "She only hits us for something like runing away." I think the way I handle it in this story, where it's revealed she gave July a ping pong paddle to use herself when the house mother left due to the Depression, and July does give Kate a smack (how hard id unknown) for running across the street after an animal without looking both ways, is very plausible. So is the old "wash the mouth out with soap" for telling a lie (Miss Hannigan hands Annie a spoon just to see the look on her face while telling her to handle it) as I show in "Unending Trust."

I figure MIss Hannigan hates her job. The orphans can't stand, yet put up with the sewing, in exchange for some bargaining leverage elsewhere; because all it takes is one drinking binge, someone sneaking out and revealing *why* they don't go to school, etc., and she's history. They don't have her where they want her by *any* means, but they've got wiggle room.

More well-known names. It's a case by case basis for me. Al Capone makes Warbucks sound more insistent than John DIllinger if he says that. I'm a big history buff and I don't even know who Tommy Manville was. So that's better for me. But, Agent Gunderson is better, in my view, because I have a hard time remembering Ness was a real person, due to his presence on The Untouchables, plus Ness was never in New York, was he? Gunderson is just the right guy in the right place. And, I could go either way on whether Annie would have heard of Babe Ruth, but it's much less likely she'd have heard of Lou Gehrig. Especially since Ruth was, you know, in an orphanage once. (Albeit because his home was unsafe.) So I prefer Gehrig in that line but Ruth is...plausible, if less so.

The Hooverville removal, though, is crazy - I'm glad it got put back. It's a very memorable part of the play, and shows the peoples' desperation. very well.  It's written well enough that Annie's presence with Sandy at the start doesn't take away too much to me.

 As for my reaction to Annie Llive!, briefly (hard for me, I know)  I liked it a lot but I thought that  A few things that were changed didn't need to be calm as others have said.

But as for the ending - again I'm going in universe here - as I show in later chapters here I think that's definitely a plan B that the orphans have. If Miss Hannigan thinks that Rooster is about to double cross her, she could  And the tables like she did. If the orphans find out and Run to Warbucks and Miss Hannigan has to follow them, she could on the spur-of-the-moment decided to tell on her brother first.

 I think saying it is the plan B from the original makes a lot of sense because I think it was a plan B that was B that was hatched out very fast since Andrea had to pull out as Eleanor Roosevelt at the end. I think they were going to have something with her and Annie at the very end.

 All that being said, there is no reason for them to have pulled the pulled the "jig is up" line out of the final scene. They could have easily had that part and even Annie shooting back with the never "tell a lie" part and still had the orphans running in followed by miss Hannigan.  Just have the line that miss Hannigan may have been the mastermind followed by miss Hannigan pleading with Annie that of course that wasn't the case and talking about how nice she'd been with Annie replying with her "never tell a lie" part.
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