by Randall Allen Dunn
When people don’t have much in the way of material things, they often imagine that a pile of money will solve all of their problems. They want to earn more, win more, or inherit more so that they can buy all the things they’ve ever wanted. A dream house, a dream car, a dream life.
Unfortunately, it really is true that money doesn’t buy happiness.
In the musical, “Annie”, a young girl named Annie (Alicia Morton) sits looking out the window of her orphanage, dreaming of the day her parents will return for her, She knows they will someday because they left a note when they dropped her off, saying they’ll come back when they’re able to take care of her. She wonders if “Maybe” they’re thinking of her, too.
Although she is poor and away from her parents, living a “Hard-Knock Life”, Annie maintains a positive attitude, knowing the sun will come up “Tomorrow”. Meanwhile, she’s impatient to find her parents, and to escape Miss Hannigan (Cathy Bates), the abusive orphanage director, who just so happens to hate “Little Girls”.
When Annie’s latest escape attempt fails and Miss Hannigan prepares to give her excessive chores, a well-dressed woman arrives at the orphanage. She introduces herself as Grace Farrell (Audra McDonald), the personal secretary to Oliver Warbucks (Victor Garber), the wealthiest man in town. Having been an orphan himself, Mr. Warbucks wants to make a charitable act by offering a young orphan the chance to spend Christmas at his mansion.
Grace picks Annie, despite Miss Hannigan’s protests.
Mr. Warbucks is flustered upon seeing Annie. “You’re a girl,” he tells her. “Orphans are boys.”
Annie prepares to make a gracious exit, but Mr. Warbucks then urges her to stay. Unfortunately, he has no idea what to actually do with her. He goes about his usual business, while Annie insists on watching him work. He tries to explain that he has a lot to do, and suggests that Annie go into town to watch a movie with Grace. When Annie asks movies are like, having never seen one, Mr. Warbucks is surprised. When he learns that Annie has never enjoyed a single one of New York’s sights, he finally decides to take her into the city himself.
Annie soon wins his heart, and Mr. Warbucks realizes that he wants her to stay with him beyond the holidays. He wants to adopt her himself.
He tells Annie that he worked hard his entire life to build up an empire, to make sure that he made enough money to have everything he could ever want. But he tells Annie that he now realizes “Something Was Missing”: someone to share it with.
Sadly, Annie can’t commit to having Mr. Warbucks adopt her because she’s still waiting for her real parents to come back for her. Though deeply disappointed, Warbucks offers to use all of his resources to help find Annie’s parents, even offering a large reward for anyone who can prove that Annie is their little girl. He’s willing to do anything to make Annie happy.
Meanwhile, Miss Hannigan schemes with her brother, Rooster (Alan Cummings), and his less-than-clever girlfriend, Lily St. Regis (Kristin Chenoweth), to con Mr. Warbucks out of the fifty thousand dollar reward. They’re convinced that all that money will have them living on “Easy Street”. So Hannigan and Rooster pose as Annie’s “real” parents, while Lily watches the kids at the orphanage.
But their plans fall apart when Lily realizes that she can’t trust Rooster to return with the cash once they collect on Warbucks’ reward. She blows their scam wide open, arriving at the Warbucks mansion with an army of orphans.
But she can still take hold of her dream for finding a home, where she knows she’ll always be loved. She accepts Mr. Warbucks’ offer for adoption, and they both find what they’ve been searching for, as they each decide “I Don’t Need Anything But You.”
Don’t miss out by focusing all you energy on making more money, thinking that extra overtime hours or a lottery ticket will propel you to “Easy Street”, where you’ll finally be happy. Spend time with your loved ones. That’s where your real riches lie.
Find more reviews of “Annie” at amazon.com!
Thursday, February 24th, 2011