“Little Girls, Little Girls” and Other Fabulous Annie Moments
On November 8, Annie opened on Broadway. This was one of my favorite musicals as a kid—I think I had all the songs memorized by the time I was 9—so I’ve been dying to see the show since it was announced. Plus, after chatting with the show’s star, Lilla Crawford, for our November issue, I became even more obsessed. (She's so sweet!) After months of waiting, I finally got to see this revamped classic last week. Did it live up to my expectations? Absolutely!
While I would love to recap every moment from the show, I’ll stick to my 5 favorite song-and-dance numbers. Here they are:
“It’s the Hard Knock Life.” This is the first time we get to see the kids’ singing and dancing chops. They blew me away! It’s hard to believe these youngsters are really between the ages of 7 and 11. (Are we sure they’re not just really short grown ups?) I think the best moment is when the bigger girls strap mop suits on the smaller ones and use them to mop the floor “ ‘til it shines like the top of the Chrysler building!”
“Little Girls.” This has always been one of my favorite Annie songs, but Katie Finneran as Miss Hannigan brings it to a whole new, hilariously sloppy level. Not to mention, little Emily Rosenfeld as Molly has the funniest final pose. Now that I think of it, the smallest of the orphans actually has a lot of scene-stealing moments. (Did I mention how awesome these kids are?)
“N.Y.C.” It’s clear that choreographer Andy Blankenbuehler had some fun with this one. There are jugglers, there are acrobats, there’s fabulous dancing. This vision of New York City at night has all the makings of a carnival. Now I understand why Lilla Crawford told me this was one of her favorite numbers.
“I Don’t Need Anything But You.” This is when Annie debuts her new look: a short haircut and her character’s classic red dress. I almost cried at how cute the chemistry was between Annie and Daddy Warbucks.
“New Deal for Christmas.” And I thought these kids couldn’t get any more talented. They can sing, they can act—and they can really dance. Bring on the tap shoes!
(From left) Darriel Johnakin, Diego Pasillas, and Emma Sutherland (all photos by Erin Baiano)
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Imagine attending American Ballet Theatre's prestigious NYC summer intensive, training among classical ballet legends. Imagine taking the stage at New York City Dance Alliance Nationals, competing against some of the country's best contemporary dancers. Now, imagine doing both—at the same time.
Welcome to Madison Brown's world. This summer, she's in her third year as a National Training Scholar with ABT, while also competing for NYCDA's Teen Outstanding Dancer title. (She's already won Outstanding Dancer in the Mini and Junior categories.) The logistics are complicated—ABT's five-week intensive overlaps with the weeklong NYCDA Nationals, which translates to a lot of cabs back and forth across Manhattan—but Maddie is committed to making the most of each opportunity. "I love contemporary and ballet equally," she says. "While I'm able to do both, I want to do as much as I can."
Maddie has an expressive face, endless extensions, and a quiet command of the stage. She dances with remarkable maturity—a trait noted by none other than Jennifer Lopez, one of the judges on NBC's "World of Dance," on which Maddie competed in Season 2. Although Maddie didn't take home the show's top prize, she was proud to be the youngest remaining soloist when she was eliminated, and saw the whole experience as an opportunity to grow. After all, she's just getting started. Oh, that's right—did we mention Maddie's only 14?
Corbin Bleu in rehearsal for "Kiss Me, Kate" (Jenny Anderson, courtesy Roundabout Theatre Company)
If you're a hardcore Broadway baby, today is the worst Sunday of the year. Why, you ask? The Tony Awards were last Sunday, so basically there's nothing to look forward to in life anymore—no James Corden being James Corden, no teary acceptance speeches from newly minted stars, no thrilling excerpts from the hottest new shows. Oh yeah, and there are 50 more Sundays to go before our humdrum lives are once again blessed with the next annual iteration of Broadway's biggest night.