Hard Knock Life: Annie Ditches Revival Tour – Taking Original Production On The Road
It’s A Hard Knock Life! While aiming for their show to shine as bright as the top of the Chrysler Building, it seems the original production team of Annie the Musical has done some reworking of the show before it prepares to set out on its national tour within the next year. However, many were surprised as an announcement came from the producers that changed everything anyone was expecting of the new national tour. What could be so drastic of an announcement?! Today, Luner on Theatre brings you the news that the producers of Annie have announced that the brand new national tour of the production will return to honor to the original Broadway production as opposed to the 2012 Broadway revival!
Producers of the new Annie tour scheduled to hit the road in the 2014-2015 season shocked many today when they announced the brand new national tour would not be based off of the 2012 Tony Award nominated Broadway mounting like previously announced. Instead, they happily announced Martin Charnin (Pictured Right), the original lyricist and director for Annie, would mount the new tour and it would return to the production’s original vision which it premiered with on Broadway in 1977. Charnin not only served as the director of the original Broadway production but has directed dozens of productions of Annie since the original Broadway mounting.
While many did not expect the announcement, it does not come as a surprised to many. The 2012 Broadway revival of Annie took a much more serious approach to the show material than the original did. The revival only ran for over a year totaling 38 previews and 487 performances in all. The show also only received one Tony Award nomination for Best Musical Revival and did not recoup its investment during it’s run. Annie‘s Broadway revival was helmed and directed by James Lapine (Pictured Left). All of these factor’s are sure signs of why the Annie team has decided to launch the original production once again back on the road for a solid hit with families and theatre-goers across the nation.
In a press interview regarding the decision, Charnin said:
“The entire creative team (Tom, Charles, and I) simply had to restore the charm and the magic of the musical, that it has not endured, these many years, and that seemed to veer off-course in the recent Broadway production.”
He also announced that the brand new touring production would receive new physical aspects as well. The scenic and costume elements from the recent Broadway revival would also not be included in the brand new national tour. Instead, Tony Award nominee Beowulf Boritt will design a new set while costume designer Suzy Benzinger will re-conceive the original Tony Award winning costume design by the late Theoni V. Aldridge.
Charnin made a point to mention that he was open to new interpretations of Annie as long as it honored the production’s original ideas and values. He is pictured below left during his first time working on Annie.
“While you have to adhere to that old saw, ‘If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!,’ it’s a director’s responsibility to pay close attention to what ideas a new group of actors bring to their roles. I’m certain that some of the new people we hire are going to have strong ideas about certain aspects of how to play a part, and how to create a character that differs from that which has gone before. I’m completely open to reinterpretations, if —and here’s the big if — the new approach doesn’t alter the original intention.
The brand new tour will be presented by Troika Entertainment. The show is currently in the casting process and is hoping to have a cast soon. No official city for the tour’s launch has been announced yet either.
Wow! When this news broke earlier today, we were quite surprised by the announcement. While we entirely understand and support the team behind Annie the musical, we did not expect such an overhaul for the show following it’s not so bright Broadway revival. We enjoyed ourselves when we got to experience Annie on Broadway during it’s 2012 return. However, we can see and understand the points made above by the original creative team of the show. There are certain shows that have a specific sort of branding that automatically comes with them. Annie is hands down one of these shows. Productions like this can always be done in new and groundbreaking ways. However, people are always going to expect something and very specific things for production’s like this. I am sure this was no easy choice to make when it came down to it for the upcoming national tour but I applaud the team for their decision in which they think will not only do best for audiences around the nation but also do best to honor Annie the Musical.
Annie the Musical will soon return to the road and making its way from city to city across the United States! At this point in time, no official list of cities has been announced for the tour but one is expected soon. Stay tuned as Luner on Theatre brings you everything you need to know and more about the upcoming national tour of Annie! Casting, photos, cities and more – check back! Thank you to Playbill.com for the quotes used in this article! For more information, visit Annie the Musical’s Official Website. Be sure to follow Luner on Theatre on Facebook and Follow Us on Twitter as well! We are constantly updating these pages with information! And of course, check out the rest of Luner on Theatre for all your theatre news you don’t only need but want to know and so much more!