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“Annie” Returns to Broadway

November 9th, 2012

Lilla Crawford & Sunny in "Annie". Photo by Joan Marcus.

The bitch is back.

OK, technically speaking “Sandy” in Annie is a boy dog but…you get the point. And with a spanking new Broadway revival — which opened last night to solid and at times glowing reviews — the tail wagging charmer and the belting moppet are back to incite more girlish sighs and cynical eye rolls.  I mean, has there ever been a musical more beloved and simultaneously maligned (as everything horrible about relentlessly cheery, vocal chord popping musical theater) than this show? And yet…and yet the songs are damn solid — “Easy Street” is a truly dynamite number — and undeniably a part of our cultural fabric.

Who hasn’t sung “Tomorrow”–either in earnest or in jest? I’ll admit it, there are cassette tapes that exist of an eleven year old me belting out my boy soprano version in my bedroom. These recordings will remain under lock and key until 25 years after my death so don’t bother looking for them…and instead check out these amazing renditions:

This is it. Ground zero. You can trace the nasal passage clearing sounds of every musical theater diva or wannabe back to Andrea McArdle‘s original Annie. You can hear it in every Eponine and Elphaba (check out Idina Menzel’s version). And I will bet you that most of the women (and a few men) born after 1965 on Broadway now will cite this song and this performance as the reason they started singing. Remember, this is just a little girl and yet that voice could tear down the back wall of the theater. [However, the frightening enthusiasm of the girls doing “Never Fully Dressed” afterward in this clip, are probably what killed American musical theater for the following decade.]


She’s got the pipes and she’s got the hair. Seriously. Babs. I can not believe this exists.


Instead of posting more individual clips, why not show this one clip that features EVERY Broadway diva singing “Tomorrow” in one fell swoop. I bow down to the genius that is Christina Bianco. Her Celine Dion alone is worth the price of admission. And I bet she can do a mean Sandy, too.


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