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'Annie' to close on Broadway

September 06, 2013|By Deborah Vankin
  • Lilla Crawford in the title role of the musical "Annie " in New York. The show will have its final performance on Jan. 5 at the Palace Theatre.
Lilla Crawford in the title role of the musical "Annie " in New… (Joan Marcus and Boneau/Bryan-Brown…)

The sun will come out -- tomorrow. But the forecast looks cloudy for the Broadway revival of “Annie” in the not-too-distant future.

The current version of the beloved musical, which opened in November at the Palace Theatre, will close in January, producers announced on Thursday. It has played 487 performances and 38 previews.

The production, directed by Tony-winner James Lapine, was nominated for a Tony for best musical revival this year. But it has received tepid reviews and ticket sales have been on the decline recently. The show grossed just $720,823 last week, about half its potential revenue. 

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Based on Harold Gray’s comic strip “Little Orphan Annie,” which started in 1924, the musical "Annie" debuted on Broadway in 1977 and ran for almost six years. The music is by Charles Strouse, with lyrics by Martin Charnin and a book by Thomas Meehan. Dorothy Loudon won a Tony award for her performance as Miss Hannigan and Andrea McArdle was the original Annie.

The current production opened with Katie Finneran as Miss Hannigan (Jane Lynch and, currently, Faith Prince have since taken over the role) and Lilla Crawford plays Annie.

In the 1982 film version, Albert Finney played billionaire Daddy Warbucks and Carol Burnett was the cruel Miss Hannigan. Aileen Quinn played the title character, Annie.

Meantime: for “Annie,” on Broadway right now, it’s a hard-knock life for sure. But fans of the spunky redheaded heroine, fear not: There’s a national tour planned for the 2014-2015 season.


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