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.


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).


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.


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

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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