Date Night with Kids: Annie the Musical

by Jessica Shyba on January 4, 2013

in Adventures in NYC,City Life,Lifestyle,New York

The first time we took Jack and Zoe together to a theater show, it was an off-Broadway performance of Angelina Ballerina. They were so great during the show, they were genuinely interested and so entertained by the cute dancing ballerina mice on stage. They we very young though, so I wasn’t sure what their attention span would be like. I had little worry in that department-they were completely enthralled. We’ve since been to a few other theater performances since then, and each one has been fun and amazing. I haven’t ever seen a Broadway show that isn’t geared for kids, so I considered the invitation to see Annie on Broadway that show for me-even though my kids loved it too.

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We got dressed up in our Neiman Marcus for Target’s favorite finds: I’m wearing the Skaist-Taylor vest, Zoe’s wearing a Jason Wu dress, and Jack is wearing my favorite thing from that collection: The boy’s Rag & Bone sweater-all of which are on super sale right now! We headed into Times Square on a school night (!) to the Palace theater to take in the show. I don’t think I’ll ever tire of seeing the lights, moving pictures on the buildings, and the gaping mouths all around any time we head into Times Square. It might not be my favorite part of the city, but it is exciting and oozing with anticipation. Going there to actually see a Broadway show makes it that much better, and doing that with my two oldest children was so special (for all of us).

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The movie Annie was one of my favorites when I was a child. I remember being sad that the children in the movie were orphans, but experiencing the story line-even in a vibrant on-stage performance-and watching though “mother” eyes was more intense than I was expecting. I don’t think my own kids really grasped the concept of the orphanage even though I tried to explain it to them (just as well), but they followed the story along, laughing and bouncing in their seats during the upbeat songs.

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The show was very upbeat and entertaining, and I was blown away by the performances, particularly by Lilla Crawford who played Annie, and Katie Finneran who played Miss Hannigan. The voices on these children and adults carried easily thoughout the theater, impressing everyone in all corners of the room.

Lilla Crawford Opening night of the Broadway musical ‘Annie’ at the Palace Theatre – Curtain Call. New York City, USA – 08.11.12
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Jack and Zoe’s favorite character, however, was none other than Sandy, Annie’s dog. The rest of the audience was impressed with Sandy’s performance as well, and for me it might be one of the most resonating parts of the experience. Sandy is being played by Sunny, a two-year-old terrier mix who was discovered at an animal shelter just 24 hours before she was scheduled to be put to sleep. Sunny has her own “Daddy Warbucks” it seems, as she too went from rags to riches in a snap-from shelter dog to Broadway performer.

Lilla Crawford and Sunny Opening night of the Broadway musical ‘Annie’ at the Palace Theatre – Curtain Call. New York City, USA – 08.11.12

It was such a fun night with my kids. We all went home skipping and singing “Tomorrow”, and they keep asking to see more shows along with the movie version of Annie. I’m so grateful to have these experieces with them now that they are a little older and can appreciate them a little more.

We were thoroughly entertained by Annie the Musical and I highly recommend catching a performance if you are able to… Even if that means you’ll have “Hard Knock Life” and “Tomorrow” running on a loop in your head for weeks after seeing it.

A bit of background:

This 35th anniversary revival of Annie was directed by Tony Award® winner James Lapine is the tale of a red-headed orphan in the care of a billionaire Republican during the Great Depression. When it premiered on Broadway, in the wake of Vietnam, inflation and Watergate, the musical inspired by the Jazz Age comic strip “Little Orphan Annie” was a refreshing tonic gulped by parched critics and theatregoers alike. At its center was a little girl belting a song called “Tomorrow,” an anthem of hope that became known worldwide.

I was not compensated for this post, however tickets to the show, as well as Target’s clothing were provided for purposes of this review. All opinions are always my own.

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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

alyson January 7, 2013 at 2:48 pm

awww, your little ones are toooooo cute, especially in those target x nm collection items. The rag & bone piece was among my favorite, too… want it for myself. :)

alyson
http://www.theaveragegirlsguide.com
{inner circle friend!} :)

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Monica January 7, 2013 at 3:29 pm

What a great review and you all look awesome in those outfits! I though that the entire Target collection was lovely.
I’ve been thinking about taking my family to see Annie. My daughter recently saw the movie (although I still can’t help fast-forwarding through the scary parts) and Annie was such a profound part of my own childhood. I remember renewing the record at the library over and over to play on my fisher price record player – until my mom surprised me with my very own copy one day. I also remember begging my Aunties in Colombia to take me to the theater to see it in English and my joy when I received a necklace just like Annie’s.
I love the story of Sandy the most – I had no idea!

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Katie January 7, 2013 at 6:21 pm

You all look so fabulous! I kind of want to go get that Skaist-Taylor vest at Target now, and the Jason Wu dress on your daughter is just perfect. Man, I hope I get to have a daughter some day :) Also, what a wonderful story about Sunny, the dog. That just warms my heart. Happy New Year!

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Amanda January 8, 2013 at 9:00 pm

Oh, how I love this. We took our girls to see the Lion King in Seattle when they were 4 and 6. Despite having to work through the stampede scene, they were hooked. We went on to see Wicked and the Pajama Game. When my husband took the to see the Disney movie the Princess and the Frog they turned to him two minutes in, crestfallen, “But dad, this isn’t a show. Where are the people?”

Having met my husband while we both worked at the Williamstown Theatre Festival, my wee theatre geeks make my heart sing.

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lonek8 January 9, 2013 at 7:35 pm

I totally have that vest – although I haven’t had anywhere to wear it yet ;-)

the story of the dog playing Sandy is amazing – almost made me tear up in happiness. I would adopt all the animals if I could.

So jealous that you get to take your kids to great stuff like that. there isn’t much of a theater scene here in Omaha. Can’t wait until we get back to the big city so I can take my kids to some shows!

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Pam at Triple Threat Mommy January 22, 2013 at 4:18 am

Those Target pieces are amazing! And Zoe’s little red dress reminds me of when I first saw Annie when I was in 1st grade and wore a similar dress. Guess you just *have* to wear red to Annie, right? You guys look fab as always.
-pam.

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Appaman January 23, 2013 at 9:48 pm

Annie is the best! Adorable photos – nice jackets too ;)

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Krista March 16, 2013 at 4:48 pm

I just started reading your blog (I love it!) and I was wondering how old your kids are/were at the time of seeing Annie? My daughter is 2.5 and I’d love to take her to see Cinderella on Broadway this summer, when she’s three. I’m not sure if she’ll be old enough or not though. We recently took her to the circus and she was great–she sat for the whole thing, so that gives me hope. Anyway, just looking for experiences from another momma!

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