Celebrate the multiple Tony–winning music of legendary composer Charles Strouse (featured in this year’s Broadway Musicals: A Jewish Legacy), as a tough little orphan shows us how to overcome adversity. Based on Harold Gray’s renowned political commentary comic strips, this rags-to-riches story of the charismatic feisty redheaded orphan girl in search of her birth parents is just as endearing today as it was upon its initial 1982 release. There have been other versions of Annie, but none as well received as this. Here, Strouse’s source material seamlessly captures common themes of suppression so often found in other remarkable Jewish-penned productions from Broadway’s golden age. Through a multitude of energetic performances, all of the exuberance found in the stage show becomes fully realized. Highlights include the jam-packed array of memorable song and dance routines, the glimpse into Depression-era politics and the joy of watching comedic icon Carol Burnett’s uproarious portrayal of the wicked, boozed-up orphanage supervisor. One thing is for sure, rarely have good old fashioned family entertainment films with such a strong moral center ever been this rich. Though she has endured a life of hard knocks, Annie still manages to stick out her chin, grin and hope for the best, come tomorrow.
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