Annie at the National Theatre – Review


“The sun will come out tomorrow….”. Clara and I will be singing the iconic Annie songs for quite a while after watching the opening night show at the National Theatre! It is the world’s best musical for good reason and the performance Tuesday evening was nothing short of spectacular!

HardKnockLifeHeidi Gray as Annie and Macy as Sandy in Annie at the National Theatre March 15 – 20, 2016. © Joan Marcus

We were captivated right from the start. “It’s the Hard Knock Life” was the second scene in the first act and it was amazing! There was so much talent among the cast that it is hard to pick our favorites but Annie is of course at the top of the list. Heidi Gray was a joy to watch; there is serious talent packed into that adorable little girl. Lynn Andrews as Miss Hannigan had us laughing out loud and Mr. Warbucks played by Gilgamesh Taggest was another favorite. And the scenes with Sandy the dog were definitely loved by Clara.

AnniexmasThe Company in “A New Deal for Christmas” in Annie at the National Theatre March 15 – 20, 2016. © Joan Marcus

The set, the costumes, the music, and the acting was all so, so good. I can’t recommend it enough! The show lasted about 2 hours and 30 minutes with an intermission. It was a really late night for Clara, so I packed her pajamas and changed her when we got to the car and she was fast asleep. But it was so worth the tired eyes the next morning! We both absolutely loved the show and it made for a memorable momma-daughter date night!

Annie&SandyMacy as Sandy and Heidi Gray as Annie in Annie at the National Theatre March 15 – 20, 2016. © Joan Marcus

There are just 6 performances remaining, so hurry up and grab your tickets:

• Thursday, March 17 7:30pm
• Friday, March 18 8:00pm
• Saturday, March 19 2:00pm
• Saturday, March 19 8:00pm
• Sunday, March 20 1:00pm
• Sunday, March 20 6:30pm

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Here is the official show blurb if you would like to learn more about the cast and production:

WASHINGTON, DC (January 12, 2016) Leapin’ lizards! With more than 400 performances under her belt, the new U.S. National Tour of Annie will play the National Theatre for one week only, March 15 – 20, 2016. Directed by original lyricist and director Martin Charnin for the 19th time, this production of Annie is a brand new physical incarnation of the iconic 1977 Tony Award®-winning original.

Tickets are on sale now and start at $48 plus applicable service charges. Tickets are available at the National Theatre box office, online at, or by calling (800) 514-3849. A day-of-performance lottery for a limited number of best available tickets at $25 each – cash only – will be held at the theater two hours before each performance. Orders for groups of 10 or more may be placed by calling (202) 628-6161 ext. 227. For more information, call (202) 628-6161 or visit

After touring the production to 41 cities across the nation, Troika Entertainment, LLC is pleased to announce select new lead cast members for the 2016 leg of the tour.

The new production features a 25-member company: newly cast in the title role of Annie is Heidi Gray, an 11-year-old actress from the Augusta, GA area, making her tour debut. Also new to the Orphanage are Sage Bentley as Tessie, Bridget Carly Marsh as July, Annabelle Wachtel as Molly, and Casey Watkins as Duffy. They join Molly Rose Meredith as Pepper, and Emily Moreland as Kate. Chloe Tiso joins the company as Grace Farrell.

Continuing to star in the company are Gilgamesh Taggett as Oliver Warbucks, Lynn Andrews as Miss Hannigan, Garrett Deagon as Rooster, Lucy Werner as Lily, and Jeffrey B. Duncan as FDR. Sunny and Macy, rescue terrier mixes, star as Sandy.

The featured ensemble includes Chelsey Lynn Alfredo, Jonathan Cobrda, Ruby Day, Todd Fenstermaker, Madisen Johnson, Brianne Kennedy, Tyler Lenhart, Brendan Malafronte, Theresa Rowley, Kelsey Shaw, Connor Simpson, and Daniel Forest Sullivan.

Annie has a book by Thomas Meehan, music by Charles Strouse, and lyrics by Martin Charnin. All three authors received 1977 Tony Awards® for their work. Choreography is by Liza Gennaro, who incorporates selections from her father Peter Gennaro’s 1977 Tony Award®-winning choreography.

The original production of Annie opened April 21, 1977 at the Alvin Theatre and went on to win the New York Drama Critics Circle Award for Best Musical, seven Drama Desk Awards including Best Musical, the Grammy for Best Cast Show Album, and seven Tony Awards®, including Best Musical, Best Book (Thomas Meehan) and Best Score (Charles Strouse, Martin Charnin). The first national touring company of Annie played National Theatre for 18 weeks in 1978. The show remains one of the biggest Broadway musical hits ever. It ran for 2,377 performances after it first opened, has been performed in 28 languages, and has been running somewhere around the world for 38 years.

The beloved score for Annie includes “Maybe,” “It’s the Hard Knock Life,” “You’re Never Fully Dressed Without a Smile,” “Easy Street,” “I Don’t Need Anything But You,” and the eternal anthem of optimism, “Tomorrow.”

The celebrated design team includes scenic design by Tony Award® winner Beowulf Boritt (Act One, The Scottsboro Boys, Rock of Ages), costume design by Costume Designer’s Guild Award winner Suzy Benzinger (Blue Jasmine, Movin’ Out, Miss Saigon), lighting design by Tony Award® winner Ken Billington (Chicago, Annie, White Christmas), and sound design by Tony Award® nominee Peter Hylenski (Rocky, Bullets Over Broadway, Motown). The lovable mutt “Sandy” is once again trained by Tony Award® Honoree William Berloni (Annie, A Christmas Story, Legally Blonde). Musical supervision and additional orchestrations are by Keith Levenson (Annie, She Loves Me, Dreamgirls). Casting is by Joy Dewing CSA and Holly Buczek CSA, Joy Dewing Casting (Soul Doctor, Wonderland, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat). The tour is produced by TROIKA Entertainment, LLC.

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