"Asked for an example of the missing magic in the Broadway revival, Mr. Charnin, who also wrote the lyrics for the show, noted that in many productions, the title character’s dog, Sandy, reappears in the finale when he pops out of an oversize Christmas present. Mr. Charnin said he had urged Mr. Lapine to include that moment for Broadway because 'it’s a piece of magic that audiences eagerly anticipate, like Cinderella’s fairy godmother changing a pumpkin into a carriage.' But in his finale, Mr. Lapine had Sandy scamper onto the stage and into Annie’s arms."
In my opinion, that is a difference that makes so little difference as to be no difference. Annie gets Sandy back in both versions. The audience only anticipates that bit of magic if they've seen the show before. Not that it's the standard for anything, but my high school version didn't have Sandy jump out of a box, and none of us knew something was missing (ha).
I really have no issue if Charnin and the rest want to do it the way it's always been done. I just think that's sort of sad (and, at some level, boring.)
Just my opinion.
I think it would have been better to keep that moment in there as the audience is pulling foo Annie and knows she is about to get the best Christmas present ever (besides being adopted)
Seemed to me that part of the issue was that they diminished the orphans' roles a bit...I thought YNFD was cute but missed seeing the kids show off their dancing skills. In this day and age, people LOVE seeing kids onstage...esp. in a show about orphans...I would have added a scene or two with the orphans and upped the choreography as kids today are so much more skilled than they were back in the 70's. Annie needed to keep in mind that they were competing with Matilda
Rachel, that's a good point about showcasing the orphans' dancing skills more.
I would have loved to see a tour of this recent production version and a London Revival! It seems like Charnin wants nothing new. It does seem boring!
I think I understand what he is doing.
If the recent revival had gone out on tour or to London he probably would have stayed silent or praised it. There are a lot of photos of him with the revival cast and crew throughout the production, so he must have had a good relationship with them at the time.
When the current producers opted not to take the revival on tour that left him with no Annie on tour, so he decided to put the version of the show he controls on the road.
He has to put as positive a spin on this version as he can, even if he feels the need to diminish the revival. He can't say "Well I can't put the recent version on the road so I decided to put the "old version" out instead". He has to try to build excitement for seeing his version. Even at the expense of the recent revival.
This could have been avoided if the revival had gone out on tour.
Each version has it's charm and strong points.
I really did like the revival a lot.
Most folks probably wouldn't have really known the difference from the original, unless they were really familiar with it.
I bet you are right, Jeff. Not everyone who goes to Annie is a devoted fan! I have no doubt the touring production will make new fans, of course, but why not go for the best of both worlds and do something new that pleases long-term fans while simultaneously winning over new ones? (On the other hand, I suppose it is hard to argue that the "standard" staging has a proven track record of winning over fans at this point. Still, Charnin and company can believe and act on that without denigrating what others tried to do with the property. As you say, from all I saw and heard, it definitely had its points.)