Saturday, December 30, 2006

a hard-knock life

Many of you know this about me, but I am a huge fan of Broadway musicals, especially from the 50s-80s. The Sound of Music, My Fair Lady, Kiss Me Kate, Camelot, Fiddler on the Roof, The Music Man, West Side Story, all of them. I love them madly, and know every word to every song. But the one I know the best is Annie. I could recite the entire script by memory. I have the soundtracks for both the original Broadway cast and the 1982 movie. I think I even had that locket when I was a little girl.

Today I watched a documentary on Showtime called "Life After Tomorrow," about the girls who were in the original stage productions of Annie, and what happened (or didn't happen to them) after they grew up. Or rather, after they grew breasts and got kicked out of the productions. It was touching and poignant, and really made me think of my all my dashed hopes and dreams. I can't believe I was never in Broadway musical. I need a do-over.

There were a few famous faces- notably Sarah Jessica Parker (Annie), Molly Ringwald (orphan), and Alyssa Milano (orphan), and a few semi-famous faces- the girl who played Leo's daughter in The West Wing, and the girl who played Lila on Charles in Charge, but mainly they've become regular women- CPAs, pyschiatrists, teachers, mothers. They got their 15 minutes when they were 9 and 10 years old, and then returned to elementary school before they realized how much of their childhood they lost in the process. It was really kind of sad.

I did end up being in Annie in high school, although I never sang well enough to play Annie. I played one of the six orphans who had a leading role. I also choreographed the production.

The play was much more politically charged than the movie, including numbers entitled "We'd Like to Thank You, Herbert Hoover," and FDR's "A New Deal for Christmas." They toned it down for the film, leaving not-so-subtle digs like Warbuck's "everything's urgent to a Democrat!" and Roosevelt's "aren't Republicans ostentatious?" The brilliance of Carol Burnett, Tim Curry, Bernadette Peters, and Albert Finney only added to my captivated reverence of the movie. I'll bet I've seen it 50 times. I'm actually watching it now.

I still have a fever and my sore throat is getting worse by the hour. I hope everyone's New Year's Eve is festive and remember, you're never fully dressed without a smile!!


Anonymous Tom said...

"We'd Like to Thank You, Herbert Hoover" is SUCH a surprise when you first see it. Wow, in the middle of this two-hour sappy, sentimental cheese-fest is this BLATANTLY sacastic, biting, very dark song against the administration. Talk about random. I mean, bravo... but wow, if anyone sees the play AFTER seeing the movie, then they'll be in for quite a jolt when they get to that scene.

December 30, 2006 7:34 PM  

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