Friday, June 28, 2013

Review: Annie: It's a Hard-Knock Life, From Script to Stage

Sanitized Behind-the-Scenes Look at Broadway's Annie is Cute
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Broadway devotees will no doubt decry the lack of attention paid to the show's director -- James Lapine appears briefly -- but the program makes up for it with several interviews with the original 1977 Annie brain trust: lyricist/director Martin Charnin, writer Thomas Meehan and composer Charles Strouse.

This troika offers some historical context for creating the musical and a reaction to the 1982 Annie movie's version of "It's a Hard-Knock Life."

"We meant it to show children in despair, but they looked like the happiest children in the world," says one of the "Annie" veterans of the movie's orphans sliding down a banister with big grins.

Annie: It's a Hard-Knock Life, From Script to Stage (Friday - PBS, 9pm) also plays up the bonds that form among the young Annie cast and how one of them ages out of stuffed animals through the course of rehearsals. That emphasis on kids makes From Script to Stage a safe glimpse behind the curtain that's cute and sometimes informative but dramatically sanitized.

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