‘Bet Your Bottom Dollar’: Why ‘Annie’ Is Underrated

'Bet Your Bottom Dollar': Why 'Annie' Is Underrated

(Picture: Joan Marcus)

Stroll into any group or youth theater and you will not be shocked to see over 20 children singing “Onerous Knock Life” in unison. Anne, with music by Charles Strouse, lyrics by Martin Charnin and e book by Thomas Meehan, is a staple of the musical theater canon, and is commonly a toddler’s first introduction to the world of appearing by means of tune.

That being mentioned, his “AWAAAAY!” on the finish of “Tomorrow” just for its subtlety and depth.

And I feel that should change.

Anne is at the start a historic piece, documenting the large affect of the Nice Despair on New York Metropolis in 1933. 1933 has been described as “the worst year of the Depression”, leaving 15 million people, or a quarter of Americans, without work.

Though these items have historically been lower from tailored variations of the present, musical numbers like “We would Wish to Thank You, Herbert Hoover” spotlight poverty and hardship in the course of the Hoover administration, whereas ” A New Deal for Christmas” celebrates Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Restoration Packages.

Whereas extra of those historic occasions might be realized in a classroom setting, I feel there’s actually one thing to be mentioned for his or her worth in a musical. Annie could also be a toddler, however she’s positioned in a a lot bigger context.

One other side of Anne what I like is that it provides youngsters humanity. Youngsters’s ensembles are sometimes seen as frivolous and “cute” in musicals, however this present reminds us: the kids are folks.

Amid foolish musical numbers like “You are by no means totally dressed and not using a smile” and choreographed cleansing dances with mops, the kids within the story make many profound statements about household, loneliness and social class.

For instance, in “Maybe”Annie imagines what it could be like to satisfy her mother and father, visualizing what it is likely to be prefer to see them “acquire artwork” or watch them “play the piano” or “pay payments”.

On the one hand, the crux of all of it lies in her need to have a household, which is advanced and deeply painful in itself. It additionally serves as a commentary on the Nice Despair – a time when seeing your mother and father “pay the payments” was a luxurious. In fact, it’s potential that Annie shall be interpreted as a easy “cute baby”. However the music, lyrics and contours actually lend themselves to one thing a lot deeper.

Additional away, Anne creates a uncommon mix of depth and comedy within the characters. Every character is thrilling, from Annie herself, to Miss Hannigan, to Grace Farrell, to Oliver Warbucks, to Lily St. Regis, to Rooster. Even named orphans have one thing to supply. One side that I’ve at all times discovered fascinating is the connection between Annie and Miss Hannigan, and the way they resemble one another in some ways.

In spite of everything, “Possibly” and “Little Ladies” are two songs about loneliness — simply from totally different angles. “Straightforward Avenue” and “I Suppose I am Gonna Like It Right here” are each in regards to the need for sophistication mobility – simply by means of a unique lens. There’s a lot to work on with how the characters are performed and the story is advised.

From the historic context, to the complexity of the music and lyrics, to the complexity of the characters, I really consider that Anne deserves way more recognition than it receives. Whether it is true that it’s often performed, I by no means tire of seeing it. And I’ve to say, when somebody actually hits that final be aware in “Tomorrow,” it by no means fails to blow my thoughts.

#Wager #Backside #Greenback #Annie #Underrated

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