Ok everyone, here it is my review of the first preview of the 35th Revival.  If you want to be surprised by the new details of the show if you're planning to see it, then don't read this.

Let me start by saying that this is the most beautiful production of Annie that you will ever see.  The sets and lights are AMAZING! It will be nominated for Tony Awards for sure.

Now, this production is nothing like the original production as far as staging and choreography so when you see it you have to leave all the ideas at the door, this is a fresh new production and it's fun.

The first thing is that there is no overture! They show a 1930s newsreel over bits and pieces of "overture" but the overture we know is not there.  Actually, tomorrow is very played down in the production, they don't even sing it at the bows which I was very disappointed about.  And all of the orchestrations are new so nothing really sounds like the cd.

Lila Crawford is a superior Annie.  Her singing is great and she is a fabulous actress (I knew this already since I worked with her).  James has the girls all doing "New York" accents and for the most part they are good but it can be hit or miss.  Also, this Annie has long curly hair to her shoulders and when she gets "gussied" up she comes out looking like Annie from the 1999 Disney movie, so there is no red afro wig or traditional Annie dress in this production.

Katie and Anthony are great as Hannigan and Warbucks.  Katie really makes Hannigan her own, she a funny drunk and still has sex appeal, and she got lots of laugh.  Little Girls is a great number and they do some really fun stuff with the Orphans.  They've also added a few orphans to Easy Street (can't really explain it, you just have to see it).

Anthony is a great Warbucks, you can tell that he's played it a lot because it is very natural for him. The cast is spectacular in everyway.

For me the part I did not like was the choreography. For instance Never Fully Dressed is barely a dance number for the orphans, but then New Deal for Christmas has been turned into a tap number?! It was fun, but at the same time, I wasn't blown away by the movement of the piece.  

Oh, and sorry, but there are no rainbow dresses for the orphans at the end.

It is a really fun production and very smart and creative, you just can't go into it thinking that it's going to be like the other revivals because Martin Charnin did not direct it so it has fresh ideas which help bring it some much needed energy.  It's going to get great reviews and it should run at least to the Tony Awards in June.

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lol, Patti LuPone would put anyone off taking photos.

Sounds refreshing!  I saw Lilla in Billy Elliott and she was so great.  I was excited when I heard she'd be Annie.  I think having a nicer Miss Hannigan is a result of our times.  Parents are so sensitive to what kids see and it's the parents shelling out the $$$ for the ticket.  Planning on getting to NY in early '13 and hope to see the show!

To those who photos or videos.  They are forbidden in the theatre during a show.  I know some manage to get them anyway but I don't like the idea of someone taping or taking pics.  Just my opinion.  While I can't speak for her (and we don't know each other) I don't think Julie would post or upload to this site.

Can't wait to see what survives from this because since the show is only in previews and not locked down yet I expect for there to be some changes when opening night comes around on November 8th.

I really hope they add Tomorrow back into the bows.  That song is the whole reason why some people even come to see the show.

I agree. What did they play during the bows? How was hard knock life?

Hard Knock is fun, they do some cool "cleaning" choreo.  I'm sure they'll do it on one of the morning shows and you'll see it soon.

I hope they put in the orphans' original dance to "You're Never Fully Dressed Without a Smile" :(

That won't be happening. [SPOILER]  What Tony hasn't mentioned is that the girls grab a drawer full of Hannigan's undergarments and make-up and play dress up. Duffy and Pepper bind themselves together in a corset and dance together.  July plays with lipstick and makes up the other girls.  Kate and Tessie play with a couple of fans.  Molly gets to be a 'big' girl in a hilarious way.  They sing the Boylan Sisters section using a broom handle as a microphone.   There's dancing and staging in it throughout and it is a big audience pleaser, but it doesn't look as much of a synchronized routine as the Peter Gennaro original. 

Thank you for the details! It's just hard to think of "Annie" without the orphan dance. At least younger audience members won't know what they're missing!


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