Having a crowd truly watch the present helped overcome one of many raps on this format over the past decade, mounting some memorable exhibits however struggling to seize the distinctive qualities of an in-person setting.
On the draw back, the viewers (one suspects with a level of teaching) sounded a bit too appreciative and enthusiastic, applauding throughout numbers and carrying on as if this “Annie” was frankly a greater present than it’s or was.
It is also price noting the primary precedence stays presenting these musicals as a TV present, permitting cameras to swoop in and across the performers to supply an up-close view. By that measure, even the very best seat in the home was sometimes obstructed so the parents at house might be handled to closeups of the celebs.
Quibbles apart, the present boasted appreciable expertise, with younger Celina Smith ably filling the title function after a barely shaky begin, flanked by Harry Connick Jr. as Daddy Warbucks, the billionaire who takes within the decided orphan susceptible to singing “Tomorrow,” the present’s signature and one actually memorable quantity, about each quarter-hour.
Taraji P. Henson additionally gamely dove into the juicy function of Miss Hannigan, the merciless orphanage mistress, with Tituss Burgess and Megan Hilty offering an additional increase of theatrical aptitude as her grifter brother and his girlfriend, who try to derail Annie’s adoption.
The Despair-era theme did account for one deservedly crowd-pleasing second, throughout which Warbucks talks about taking Annie to see a musical, including, “I am glad to see Broadway getting again on its ft despite the onerous instances.” After a 12 months of closed New York theaters, the applause felt extra spontaneous than anything inside the telecast.
Past that, “Annie” benefited from its sheer unpretentiousness, providing the can’t-miss (or no less than miss completely) mixture of cute youngsters, buoyant dance numbers, a bit of lady with a giant voice, that trademark purple gown, and naturally a really well-trained canine who exhibits up simply lengthy sufficient to make everybody swoon.
Positive, the story is perhaps set within the Despair, however “Annie Dwell!,” warts and all, delivered a bit of ray of sunshine heading into the vacations — one thing forgotten by tomorrow, maybe, however adequate for tonight.