— no more and no less." /> Theater review: 'Annie' fails to hit an honest note - Metro.us

Theater review: ‘Annie’ fails to hit an honest note

40d60b982ed5936d6a17cda4d7c7c887
JOAN MARCUS

If you want to see “Annie,” go see “Annie.” The production at Palace Theatre, directed by James Lapine, is exactly what you’re expecting no more and no less.
 
What’s primarily lacking is the choreography by Andy Blankenbeuhler. There are several numbers begging for blowout dance sequences that simply fall short: “Hard Knock Life” and “I Think I’m Gonna Like It Here,” for starters; from then on, you have a sinking feeling it’s just not going to get grander. Surely you were envisioning a row of dapper, acrobatic butlers or adorable orphans twirling kid-size brooms? Instead, it’s a sophomoric array of stomping, swinging arms and broad gestures. Is anyone onstage a trained dancer? It’s impossible to guess.
 
The acting upholds the exact personas you would predict: the gruff Daddy Warbucks (Anthony Warlow), the boozy Miss Hannigan (Katie Finneran). No one is inspiring (tiny orphan Molly, played by Emily Rosenfeld, comes closest), though no one is bad (Regina St. Regis, ditzed up by J. Elaine Marcos, is the biggest complaint). There’s always Sandy, the trained dog onstage, to reel your attention back like a rodeo clown diverting you from the bull.
 
But the biggest issue with this “Annie” is that it fails to strike an honest note. There is no way for the modern audience to get an emotional foothold. Not outstanding enough to be considered escapist, it’s not dark enough to ring true for today’s times. Orphans become billionaires, criminals get their comeuppance and the country is saved from hard times by sheer optimism. Annie (Lilla Crawford) herself, while inarguably talented, really underscores the issue: She’s just so ineffably sunny it seems like the grounded Grace Farrell (Brynn O’Malley) might consider taking her to a physician about it. The grave issues at hand like, oh, the Depression skirt around in the background during scene transitions, like the impoverished vendors carrying back-breaking loads while the elite heroes of the play glide by singing in their new coats. That’s not hopeful, it’s disturbing. If only this production were brave enough to make this juxtaposition a central theme.
 
But you wanted to see “Annie,” and it’s “Annie.” It’s true that half the crowd walked out happily singing the signature songs but then again, that’s also how they walked in.

If you go

‘Annie The Musical’
Now playing
Palace Theatre,
1564 Broadway
$68-$128,
www.anniethemusical.com



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

California passes 'yes-means-yes' campus sexual assault bill

Californian lawmakers passed a law on Thursday requiring universities to adopt "affirmative consent" language in their definitions of consensual sex, part of a nationwide drive to curb sexual assault on…

National

Syrian refugees top 3 million, half of all…

By Stephanie NebehayGENEVA (Reuters) - Three million Syrian refugees will have registered in neighboring countries as of Friday, but many remain trapped by the advance…

International

North Korean leader's money manager defects in Russia:…

A senior North Korean banking official who managed money for leader Kim Jong Un has defected in Russia and was seeking asylum in a third country, a South Korean newspaper…

Local

MAP: New York City Street Closures August 29,…

The Department of Transportation and NYPD said there may be residual delays near all of the street closures on August 29, 31 and 31. Several streets and avenues will be…

Going Out

'Friends' coffeehouse Central Perk coming to NYC —…

"Friends" is coming back for a one-off special: "The One with the Free Coffee." Warner Bros. is bringing a pop-up replica of Central Perk, the…

Movies

Interview: 'As Above, So Below' directors: 5 ways…

The fraternal directors of the found footage horror "As Above, So Below" dish on the best ways to frighten the bejesus out of audiences.

Movies

Criterion's new Jacques Demy box mixes the light…

Jacques Demy, the most effervescent of French New Wave filmmakers, gets a Criterion box all to himself, with classics like "The Umbrellas of Cherbourg."

Entertainment

Comedian Joan Rivers, 81, rushed to New York…

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Acerbic comedian and fashion critic Joan Rivers was rushed to Mount Sinai Hospital in New York on Thursday after she reportedly…

NFL

3 things we learned in the Giants preseason…

The final score didn’t matter — a 16-13 win by the Giants — but it would’ve been nice to finally see Big Blue’s new-look offense get on track.

NFL

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots, 49ers start…

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots start at top

U.S. Soccer

5 facts about new England captain Wayne Rooney

Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney was named as the new England captain by coach Roy Hodgson on Thursday.

NFL

Jets vs. Eagles: 3 things to watch

A win on Thursday night at the Eagles would give the Jets a 3-1 record and just their second winning preseason under head coach Rex Ryan.

Style

Trend: White hot on the 2014 Emmy's red…

White was one of the big trends on the Emmy's red carpet.

Food

Recipe: Samuel Adams beer-marinated grilled shrimp

Summer calls for two things: a cold beer and light food. Sam Adams' Latitude 48 IPA fairly bursts with citrus notes, making it an ideal marinade…

Wellbeing

4 healthy ingredient swaps to make your meals…

When it comes to eating well, everyone knows they could be doing better. But cooking in an apartment on a busy schedule is a recipe…

Wellbeing

Heart trumps brain when it comes to movies…

When you need a good cry, do you reach for the movie that’s “based on a true story”? Science says you’re giving your brain far…