Out There – Broadway Turf Wars

On Thursday, a familiar orphan will officially arrive, bags and dog in tow, to the corner of 47th Street. She will be less exaggerated than we remember her to be, and her world will apparently no longer smell of drying comic book ink. She will enchant audiences who remember her fondly and those who are about to meet her for the first time, as she overcomes adversity to find home among the rich and influential of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s NYC. Of course, as I type those last three magic letters, my mind continues with “what is it about you?” proving just how indelible Annie has become, even if (like me) you can’t stand the show.

Director James Lapine has pulled a Gypsy with this production, stripping it of its stylized glitz and comic veneer so that it rings truer to the time in which it is set. The LA times released a feature preview about the new tone of the show, arguably meant to entice adults (like myself) who think of yapping children, annoying “power ballads” and quintessential Americana whenever someone busts out “Just think of daaay, that’s greeey and lonely.” However, it seems that Annie’s iconic American pride is exactly the source, and mission, of this revival.

Once more into the breach, dear friends!

In March 2013, another moppet will be setting up shop just down the street, and she’s got a handful of fresh Olivier awards to match those 30 year old dust-covered trophies Annie’s got in her sack. Based on the beloved Roald Dahl novel, Matilda: The Musical made Olivier award history by garnering the most awards ever bestowed on a musical. Matilda comes replete with singing children, flying furniture and an evil headmistress fit to give Miss Hannigan a run for her liquor cabinet. What Matilda’s got, though, the Annie doesn’t is fresh critical and word of mouth testaments that this is a show for adults too.

In a city which has overcome a hurricane and rallied against a Republican all within the span of a week, American pride has not gone undervalued. What better way to one-up those Brits and their saucy troublemaker than to reinvent the epitome of American idealism that is Annie. The sun will come out tomorrow, New Yorkers, even if Romney takes the election and flooded houses still quake in Sandy’s wake. Yes, gosh darn it, it gets better, and it gets better because, in America, there has always been the promise of hope for a better tomorrow. And what better way to reflect this than to look to one of the most iconic American musicals of all time?

US vs. Britain, it’s a war as old as the colonies themselves. And it’s coming to Broadway this season. As singing tyke is pitted against singing tyke, who will come out on top of the box office? And, most importantly, will audiences from each show feed the other, or will Broadway become the ultimate Hunger Game? 

Which show are you most excited for?

Posted in Global News