‘Annie 2’ Transformed Into a Revival of ‘Annie’
NEW YORK (AP) _ A funny thing happened to ″Annie 2″ on its way to Broadway. It will become a revival of the original ″Annie.″
The $7 million sequel to the 1977 musical hit about the world’s most famous orphan closes Saturday in Washington and will not open in New York as scheduled on March 1, said David Powers, a spokesman for the show.
Instead, director Martin Charnin plans to use much of the same cast, as well as its scenery and costumes, for the revival, Powers said Monday.
The revival is expected to reach Broadway later in the season, he added. A date and theater have not yet been announced.
It could be an easy transformation - if it happens.
The stars of ″Annie 2,″ Dorothy Loudon as Miss Hannigan and Harve Presnell as Daddy Warbucks, have played in various productions of the originial, including on Broadway where Loudon won a Tony Award. Eleven-year- old Danielle Findley, who plays the title character in ″Annie 2,″ has also played the original in other cities.
″Annie 2,″ which has a score by Charnin and Charles Strouse and a book by Thomas Meehan, is far from dead, Powers said.
The sequel will be done this summer at the Goodspeed Opera House in East Haddam, Conn., where the original ″Annie″ started in 1976, and possibly come to New York next fall, Powers said.
Critics in Washington lambasted ″Annie 2″ after its Jan. 4 opening at the Kennedy Center’s Opera House.
‴Annie’ was a musical to take to your heart,″ wrote David Richards in The Washington Post, ″but you’ll want to take a paddle to ’Annie 2.‴ He called the book ″preposterous″ and the score ″dull.″
Revisions were started immediately by Charnin. He cut the book and musical numbers for the show, which ran three hours and 20 minutes during its first preview. Many theatergoers complained that there weren’t enough orphans in the show, and five little girls were added to the cast.
Mike Nichols, Larry Gelbart and Tommy Tune, all of them experienced show doctors, reportedly were asked to come to Washington to look at the troubled show.
The plot for ″Annie 2,″ which takes place six weeks after the ending of the first show, revolves around Daddy Warbucks’ search for a wife. Miss Hannigan wants the job - to get revenge on Annie.
The original ″Annie,″ also written by Charnin, Strouse and Meehan, almost died at the Goodspeed Opera House in 1976. But Charnin brought in Nichols, who signed on as a producer, and helped him revise the show. With Andrea McArdle replacing Kristen Vigard as Annie and Loudon added as Miss Hannigan, the production went on to open in New York in April 1977, winning the Tony as best musical and running for 2,377 performances.