Sunday, December 13, 2009

The sun will come out, tomorrow!

I said that earlier this week I saw a Broadway production of the wonderful musical Annie. This is one of my most favorite musicals of all time. This musical is probably what caused my undying devotion and love of "the theatre."

By the time I was 4 or 5 years old, I knew all the words to the musicals The Sound of Music and West Side Story. I hadn't seen either of these by this age but my dad would play the piano and teach me these songs as I sat with him on the piano bench. This is where I also learned to read music.

So by the time I was 8 or 9 years old, I was all ready to see my first musical. And my Grandma F made it happen. She held season tickets to a local semi-professional summer stock theater group. One of her friends always took a 2 week vacation and this year, I got her ticket. I saw Annie.

This was a metamorphosis. I had never seen live theatre before. And I was awestruck. I remember sitting in my seat and not moving for the entire show. And the girl who was Annie was my age. And I loved singing and music and I knew that could be me. ME, I tell you!

Now I'm not sure of the sequence of events after this, but I believe I drove my parents about insane until they finally bought me the record (yes, vinyl) of the soundtrack. And I learned all the words. Around this time, the movie Annie came out and I copied all the dance steps. And I learned all the lines for each character, not just that of Annie, and I thought Punjab was stupid since he wasn't in the original Broadway version (guess I was a theatre snob even at age 10!).

We started singing music from Annie in elementary school choir since it was pretty popular. Then the music teacher told us all that while we couldn't do the whole play, we were going to do a few songs from the show in a concert. And someone was going to get to be Annie. The music director even had us try out. And lo and behold, I was picked to be Annie. I donned the reg curly wig and the red dress and had a moment to belt out "Tomorrow." OMG- I thought I had died and gone to heaven.

And this point, I think my obsession with Annie peaked. Now remember I grew up in a small town in the Midwest. My parents never traveled with us and I knew other people who were like me. Keep that in mind: sheltered Midwest little kid who had never been anywhere.

I now began a campaign to move to New York City so I could be Annie on Broadway. I begged my parents to take me to NYC so I could be Annie. I cried and screamed and threw a fit and couldn't understand why they just WOULD NOT move. I even came up with the idea that my dad could move with me and mom could stay here with my brother. Never mind that I had not the first clue about the concept of the cost of living and moving. I didn't have the first clue what Broadway even was or how I couldn't walk in the the theater and be Annie. I took choir a few times a week at school, sang with my dad at home, and I got the part in the school show so why couldn't I be her on Broadway? Yeah, I guess I was little out of whack about it all. Needless to say, I was relentless but they still wouldn't move.

Then one night I was spending the night with the Shrews (when I was young and obviously stupid and still liked them) and they were watching the evening news before Johnny Carson. There, I heard the news. Annie, one of the longest running musicals on Broadway, was closing. OHMYGOD- I was now never going to get the chance to be Annie! I was so distraught and cried so much that I had to go home. And I pouted for days because they wouldn't take me to NYC.

Fast forward to now, and a touring Broadway show was coming to town. I had talked for weeks about wanting to go to the show but I didn't have enough money to get tickets. And they sold out so fast! Then Curley called with the news that she scored 2 free tickets and insisted I go. Okay, she didn't have to insist really hard. And when she told me there was a great deal of screaming, squealing, and jumping up and down.

The show was amazing. Breathtaking really. All the magic of the theater right there on a stage just 6 rows from I sat. The girl who was Annie was amazing, there was a real dog for Sandy, and Rooster was a cutie (he reminded me of a former Sam, actually!) I could barely contain myself from singing along. It was so wonderful. This was the best production of the show I've seen yet, and trust me, I've seen this show at least a dozen times! Just wonderful! And the little girl who was Annie has her own blog: click here to see it!

And this is why I love Annie. And this is why you should love Annie. If you have a chance to see the Broadway show, then do. The movie doesn't do it justice.

Annie trivia: Sarah Jessica Parker played Annie on Broadway.

Since I never got to be Annie and at age 38 I think I'm a little to old to play that part (Daddy Warbucks would... well, I was gonna make a sex joke but that seems in poor taste), I've now got new sights set on a new role from the same musical: Miss Hannigan!

Enjoy the following clip; I wish I had footage of me signing "Tomorrow" but alas, such doesn't exist, so I've got this for you instead! And I've hunted the 'net to see if I could find the girl from last night, just alas, no luck. This is just a cute version!


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