I finally broke down and watched. I was convinced I wouldn’t like it, because I don’t generally like the altering of classic arts such as this. Really, I am against the idea of remakes in general. I had vowed never to see it. It’s the remake of the 1982 version starring Aileen Quinn, Carol Burnett, and Albert Finney, which was the first film version adapted from the 1976 Broadway production. This new movie was co produced by Jay- Z and Will Smith. Quvenzhané Wallis is in the lead role as Annie.
But, I saw Annie recently, 18 months later, and it was okay. Yes, just okay. It was very much commercialized and un-Broadway – and it was even very unlike the original film. I’m a very picky arts enthusiast. Although it was entertaining – and it was even comical making me laugh a bit – it confirmed my belief that originals should be left intact. If you’re going to re-do one, do it like it was originally meant to be. I was fortunate enough to see the original Broadway production of Annie in New York. I was around 14 years old or so, I can recall seeing the original play, almost as if it was yesterday. I saw it three times through the years. Andrea McArdle was by far the best person in that role (I wonder what she’s doing these days).
Here’s a bit of Annie trivia: the original actress in that role was Kristen Vigard. But after about a week, the producers axed her and replaced her with McArdle (who was one of the other little orphan girls). Vigard, the producers thought, presented too much of a soft, sweet, innocent naiveté to be an effective Annie. I saw Vigard, McArdle, and some other actress the name of whom I cannot recall. I agree that McArdle was the better choice.
I’m glad mom exposed me to the arts. She took me to New York all the time to see one thing or another. I’m told I went to see many things as early as the age of seven. I can’t recall that; however, the first musical I remember seeing on Broadway was the Fats Waller production, Ain’t_Misbehavin’, with Nell Carter and Irene Cara. It was on my 12th birthday. I loved it (Your Feet’s Too Big is a song that has stuck in my head from the show. Check it out below if interested). I saw dozens of other musicals after that too. The experiences have opened up my eyes and interest. It’s a great way to spend a weekend. It’s even a great place to take a date, particularly since now there’s the option to get discounted tickets by showing up the day of or the day before a performance and snagging any leftover seats. There’s even a Broadway lottery you can sign up for, that randomly selects your name from a list. It’s easier and more affordable these days for everyone to see a Broadway show, those who wants to. There are also many area restaurants, from the chic to the mundane. Every taste bud can be satisfied – and every budget can be satisfied too.
Broadway isn’t just for the bougie* anymore.
*Anything that is perceived as “upscale” from a blue-collar point of view. Bougie (pronounced BOO’-zhee) is a hackneyed abridgment of the word Bourgeoisie, which refers to the middle-class. In short, it essentially refers to a more affluent class, economic status.