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Elin
Elin

November 7th, 2000, 11:36 am #1



It say "Jane Connell as Annie", but I thought JC was a former Miss Hannigan ..?

Who's the Annie?
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Julie Stevens
Julie Stevens

November 7th, 2000, 4:46 pm #2

Elin:

That is a mistake in the article. Jane Connell was Hannigan and this is a photo of Kristi Coombs as Annie. Apologies for the dark color of the article. Anyone know how to make it lighter?

Julie
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Elizabeth
Elizabeth

November 19th, 2000, 3:24 am #3

I saw Jane, Reid and Kristi perform :O) I also saw Kristi twice as Molly. The third time the tour returned she was Annie!
I was surprised to read that Reid didn't like all the Annie's he had to work with. I guess it's only natural, he was human afterall, but it still surprises me that he would say it while still playing the role!
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Julie Stevens
Julie Stevens

November 20th, 2000, 7:27 pm #4

Keep in mind that the press often get facts wrong when reporting a story. He may not have said that or meant to insinuate that, but, then again, I wasn't there so I don't really know. Maybe he was unhappy - after all, the man had been in the show a long time. I would have to agree that not all Annie's were equally as talented. But that also holds true for actors playing all the other adult roles, as well.

Julie
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Katherine
Katherine

November 27th, 2000, 4:28 am #5

Yes, that's true. You never know if something is taken out of context or words twisted. I thought he meant the girl's personalities, not their acting. So, I thought he was saying he didn't like *them*, know what I mean?
In terms of talent, and I know many from other forums agree, that Sarah Jessica Parker was a surprise pick as Annie. She seems like a nice person, very friendly, but after seeing her in various roles...she just can't sing. I *didn't* see her as Annie so I can't comment but I did hear her sing Annie songs as a teenager and I wondered, "What the....?"
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Dina
Dina

November 27th, 2000, 2:48 pm #6

I saw SJP around Christmas 1979, and I thought she was fairly good, but certainly not great. I think that being the successor to both Andrea McArdle and Shelley Bruce, who truly have incredible voices, SJP had a lot to live up to. I also saw Allison Smith and Alyson Kirk, and my opinion was that the Annies got worse each time. I guess I just didn't feel that their voices were that strong. I thought that they had potential, but they seemed to need just a little more work. Maybe in fact they weren't all that much worse, only that I became more critical the more times I saw the show! Who knows? It's such a subjective thing...

Dina
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Julie Stevens
Julie Stevens

November 27th, 2000, 7:33 pm #7

Dina:

You are right, it is totally subjective as far as talent is concerned. What you need to consider is that we are talking about children here and talent wasn't always the basis of casting. Many little girls were cast because they were cute and sang LOUD - a definite asset. Martin Charnin had a unique ability to cast and recast roles (adults included) with people who looked almost identical to the actor who preceeded them. I remember having a birthday party before I left the 3rd National Tour and invited both the current cast and the newly flown in replacements, who were in rehearsal. I have pictures of two Graces, two ensemble members, etc... and the resemblances are hysterical. I used to walk down the street in NYC, after coming home from the tour, and see other girls with Annie jackets on who had also been in the show. I could tell you exactly what role they played because all the Tessies had a look, all the Peppers, all the Kates.....

With that said, casting the role of Annie sometimes came down to a look. I also can speculate that graduating an understudy into the title role was a heck of a lot cheaper and easier than hiring and training a completely new child.

Does that make sense? Have I avoided hurting anyone's feelings?????

Julie
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Dina
Dina

November 27th, 2000, 8:31 pm #8

Hi there!

Yeah, I could definately see the physical resemblance thing going on between the Annies. I chuckled when I read your comment about the other casting as well...I know Annie obviously has a certain look, with the straight red bob haircut, and obviously Warbucks being a tall, bald guy, but I am so curious now about the orphans. It never really occurred to me that, other than Molly who is tiny and adorable, the other orphans resembled the previous actors who played their part. Are there any in particular that you remember? I'd love to hear!!
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Julie Stevens
Julie Stevens

November 28th, 2000, 2:47 am #9

Dina:

Actually, many of the Annies did NOT look the part until they got their hair cut and dyed. I would say the running trend among Annies was a pug nose, a la Andrea, Rosanne Sorrentino, Louanne. That, of course, is just my opinion and the trend was broken many times. As for the orphans, Kate was usually blonde and pretty, Pepper usually brunette and a big belter, Tessie usually had long dark hair (except for the original) and Molly, of course, small with a big personality. I don't know...I could usually pick them out perfectly. If you want to test my theory, take a look at the cast photos from the Broadway cast at least and see if you can spot a trend. That will be a fun game!

Julie
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Kathering
Kathering

November 28th, 2000, 5:05 am #10

Dina:

You are right, it is totally subjective as far as talent is concerned. What you need to consider is that we are talking about children here and talent wasn't always the basis of casting. Many little girls were cast because they were cute and sang LOUD - a definite asset. Martin Charnin had a unique ability to cast and recast roles (adults included) with people who looked almost identical to the actor who preceeded them. I remember having a birthday party before I left the 3rd National Tour and invited both the current cast and the newly flown in replacements, who were in rehearsal. I have pictures of two Graces, two ensemble members, etc... and the resemblances are hysterical. I used to walk down the street in NYC, after coming home from the tour, and see other girls with Annie jackets on who had also been in the show. I could tell you exactly what role they played because all the Tessies had a look, all the Peppers, all the Kates.....

With that said, casting the role of Annie sometimes came down to a look. I also can speculate that graduating an understudy into the title role was a heck of a lot cheaper and easier than hiring and training a completely new child.

Does that make sense? Have I avoided hurting anyone's feelings?????

Julie
LOL! Just looking through my programs and albums I can see the resemblence between characters/actors. I even noticed that as a child, specifically the Pepper's and Tessie's. Tessie always seemed to have shoulder length dark hair and Pepper had long, light brown or blonde. The kids cast were always beautiful, too.
I have many audition tapes of the kids in Annie (from television) and you are right, sometimes it was a look. I didn't see Allison Smith perform so this is nothing against her. But, Charnin wanted another girl but the others wanted Allison because she was small and thought she looked more vulnerable. I remember thinking that the other girl sang much better and was a better actor. But...I wasn't casting :O)
Also, sometimes they didn't want a particular child because of her personality, not because of her lack of talent. On one tape I have they really liked one child, mostly because she wasn't "too show-bizzy". However, they selected another as Annie because she had the show-biz experience even though they personally liked the first child.
There are so many reasons for choosing the cast for any show. Sometimes they need actors too look good together, so talent aside, it can come down to your looks. And that is why this business is so hard, talent alone isn't always a guarantee. I'm sure Julie can personally attest to that.
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