Tony Awards, 1977: Annie

13 Apr



Many of the musicals I have revisited, I grew to like a lot more than I remembered.   Annie, however, is not one of them.  At first, while listening to this soundtrack I almost thought my mind would have changed, but unfortunately no.   Not to say it didn’t deserve a Tony–this musical was an outright smash, and brought the family musical to Broadway (which I have mixed feelings about, but attests to its influence if nothing else.)  Not to mention that Annie laid out the template for Disney which carried all the way through the Disney renaissance (outside of not being an orphan, how is The Little Mermaid all that different?)

Let’s start with the positives–Hard Knock Life, Maybe, Tomorrow, and We’d Like to Thank You Herbert Hoover are all great songs, and quite enjoyable to listen to.   The Herbert Hoover song in particular gives a wonderful view of depression era life which gives Annie a smidge more grounding than it otherwise would have.   Also its sarcastic tone is refreshing against the rest of the score.

Now for the downside–it might be appropriate for Annie’s characters to all be cartoonish–it was based off a comic strip after all–but these characters are really really annoying.   Miss Hannigan is a screeching harpy, the orphans are all cute and winsome, Daddy Warbucks is the grouch with the heart of gold, and Annie is so gosh-darned optimistic and spunky you’ll want to side with Miss Hannigan now and then.

The worst comes in when you get the screechy orphans coming in to sing songs being cute–other than Hard Knock life–their voices are just too shouty and shrill.   Oh and what about the shmaltzy stuff with FDR?   Ugh.


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