Annie is a musical of Thomas Meehan , Charles Strouse and Martin Charnin , inspired by the comic strip Little Orphan Annie by Harold Gray and created the Alvin Theater onBroadway the 21 April 1977 .


Little Annie is an orphan, in the orphanage of Miss Hannigan, a woman who hates her. Joyful and decided, Annie enters a lot in the life of a billionaire, Oliver Warbucks. The latter, initially frightened by this intrusion, quickly takes affection for her and wants to adopt it. But Annie still dreams of finding her real parents whose death she has not known in a fire years ago. A couple of little mobsters, Rooster and Lily, baited by a promise of reward and helped by Miss Hannigan, Rooster’s sister, pretend to be his parents.

Technical sheet

  • Booklet: Mike Hoy
  • Music: Charles Strouse
  • Lyrics: Martin Charnin
  • Directed by: Martin Charnin
  • Choreography: Peter Gennaro
  • Secondary choreography: Danielle Elgie
  • Costumes: Theoni V. Aldredge
  • Counselor: Aidan Davis-Hess

Original distribution

  • Sandy Faison : Grace Farrell
  • Robert Fitch : Rooster Hannigan
  • Dorothy Loudon : Miss Hannigan
  • Andrea McArdle : Annie
  • Reid Shelton : Oliver Warbucks
  • Barbara Erwin : Lily St. Regis
  • Thomas Zeinchuck : The “Sandy” puppy
  • Josh Richardson: The Christmas tree

Main characters

  • Annie : an orphan. She is accompanied by her dog, Sandy .
  • Oliver Warbucks : A self-taught billionaire, he fled Liverpool to emigrate to the United States . Living in luxury and in the most complete selfishness, he has no sentimental life and refuses Roosevelt’s social ideas.
  • Miss Hannigan : director of the orphanage, she uses her bathtub only to make gin (this is the time of Prohibition ). Nymphomaniac, greedy, severe, she is not a very positive character but ends up amending herself by preventing her brother Rooster from killing Annie.
  • Rooster Hannigan and Lily St Regis : couple of mobsters, they are a bit of Bonnie and Clyde without ambition. Rooster is released from prison and he has no qualms about robbing his own sister.
  • Grace Farrell : the devoted assistant of Oliver Warbucks
  • Franklin Delano Roosevelt : the President of the United States


Several of Annie’s songs have become great classics, such as It’s the Hard-Knock Life that rapper Jay-Z will use in 1999 or Tomorrow , taken over by Grace Jones .

First act [ change | change the code ]

  • Maybe (Annie)
  • It’s the Hard-Knock Life (Annie and the Orphans)
  • It’s the Hard-Knock Life (taken over by orphans)
  • Tomorrow (Annie)
  • We’d Like to Thank You (the “Hooverville-ites”)
  • Little Girls (Miss Hannigan)
  • I Think I’m Gonna Like It Here (Grace Farrell, Annie, Drake, Cecille, Annette, Mrs. Pugh, the other servants)
  • NYC (Oliver Warbucks, Grace Farrell, Annie, star-to-be, New Yorkers)
  • Easy Street (Miss Hannigan, Rooster Hannigan, Lily St. Regis)
  • You Will not Be an Orphan for Long (Grace Farrell, Drake, Mrs. Pugh, Cecille, Annette, Servants, Oliver Warbucks)

Second act [ change | change the code ]

  • You’re Never Fully Dressed Without a Smile (Bert Healy, Bonnie Boylan, Connie Boylan, Ronnie Boylan, Family “Hour of Happiness”)
  • You’re Never Fully Dressed Without a Smile (taken over by Orphans)
  • Easy Street (cover, by Miss Hannigan, Rooster Hannigan, Lily St. Regis)
  • Tomorrow (cover, by Annie, Franklin Roosevelt, Oliver Warbucks)
  • Something Was Missing (Oliver Warbucks)
  • I Do not Need Anything But You (Oliver Warbucks, Annie)
  • Annie (Grace Farrell, Drake and others)
  • Maybe (reprise, by Annie)
  • New Deal for Christmas (Annie, Oliver Warbucks, Grace Farrell, Franklin Roosevelt, Orphans, Team)

Awards and Appointments

  • Tony Awards 1977: “Best Musical”, “Best Booklet for a Musical”, “Best Original Score”, “Best Actress in a Musical” (Dorothy Loudon), “Best Stage Design”, “Best Costume” and “Best Costume” Best choreography
  • Nominations at the 1977 Tony Awards: “Best Actor in a Musical” (Reid Shelton), “Best Actress in a Musical” (Andrea McArdle), “Best Director of a Musical”
  • Theater World Award 1977: Andrea McArdle
  • Tony Awards 1997: “Best Replay of a Musical”

Annie at the theater

Annie had a total of 2,377 performances.

  • Alvin Theater , from April 21, 1977 to September 13, 1981
  • ANTA Playhouse , from September 16, 1981 to October 24, 1981
  • Eugene O’Neill Theater , October 29, 1981 to December 6, 1981
  • Uris Theater , from December 10, 1981 to January 2, 1983

The team that wrote Annie (the librettist Thomas Meehan , the composer Charles Strouse and the lyricist Martin Charnin ) tries a sequel in 1990 : Annie 2: Miss Hannigan’s revenge . The first performances before a test audience are catastrophic and immediately make her give up.
The piece returns in a much improved version in 1992 , under the Annie Warbucks pulls . It will have less than 250 performances (the figure includes the first) despite a fairly good press. It is now part of the repertoire of plays performed in schools in the United States.

Cinematographic adaptations

  • 1982 : Annie by John Huston
    • This film has itself had a sequel (on video support exclusively), Annie: A Royal Adventure! ( 1995 )
  • 1999 : Annie , TV movie directed by Rob Marshall
  • 2014 : Annie , film by Will Gluck


Annie’s simple plot makes it a nice fairy tale for children. But we can appreciate Annie on other levels. Indeed, the story fits in the context of the Great Depression of 1929 , while Franklin Delano Roosevelt seeks to set up his New Deal despite the resistance of financiers like Oliver Warbucks.
This contextualization of comic-strip Little Orphan Annie is ironic because it is quite far from the ideas that one generally lends to its creator, Harold Gray , who like his character Warbucks is cataloged (a little fast no doubt) like an ultra-conservative .
The adult viewer will see in Annie a darkness that the child will probably not perceive, and not only for the evocations of the political and economic life of the time. The character of Miss Hannigan is, for example, absolutely sordid.

It was actually Martin Charnin, Annie’s lyricist, who conceived this project in the midst of the Vietnam war , six years before it came to fruition, in response to the moody atmosphere that prevailed under the Nixon administration. . It is therefore a rather political work but its success (it is one of the rare Broadway musicals to be a real success in the late 1970s ) is perhaps the result of a misunderstanding: for a part of the audience, Annie represented a nostalgic return to the Roaring Twenties and in no way a message for the future.

The Boston Justice series refers to the musical in an episode of his first season, where a lawyer ( Alan Shore ) has to defend a small African-American who would not get the main role because of his skin color. The flagship song “Tomorrow” is heard several times.