Cast members playing orphans in the LOGON production of “Annie”

The sun'll come out tomorrow
So ya gotta hang on 'til tomorrow
Come what may
Tomorrow! Tomorrow, I love you, tomorrow!
You're always a day away!

Little Orphan Annie's anthem of dogged optimism has touched a chord with audiences ever since its Tony-winning 1977 Broadway debut. The musical is about a plucky little girl who runs away from a dreary New York City orphanage in search of her long-absent parents, is taken in by the ultra rich industrialist Oliver "Daddy" Warbucks, and winds up inspiring the newly-elected President Franklin D. Roosevelt to turn the country around.

The hugely popular musical, with music by Charles Strouse, book by Thomas Meehan and lyrics by Martin Charnin, has spawned numerous revivals, national and international tours and three movies.   

The show is set in Depression-era New York City of the early 1930s.  One of the scenes is of the Hooverville shantytown whose homeless, jobless residents sing a sarcastic song to the outgoing President:

We'd like to thank you Herbert Hoover
For really showing us the way
We'd like to thank you Herbert Hoover
You made us what we are today!

Until the current Broadway hit, Hamilton, came along, Annie may have been the only musical to celebrate long-dead government officials in song.

Although Annie is rightly considered a "family show", it has considerable depth. Interviewed during the show's first six-year run, author Meehan said he had conceived of the original comic book character as someone who "in the musical could become a metaphorical figure who stood for innate decency, courage and optimism in the face of hard times, pessimism and despair”.

Each time the show has been revived, reviewers tend to relate to Annie as a sort of political allegory, somehow reflecting the current social/political reality, inevitably referencing the connection between wealth and power.

For its production of Annie, LOGON has recruited a dozen young children, bringing a certain happy chaos to rehearsals. This can be a challenge. 

Rosa Howden, the veteran director and choreographer, has returned to LOGON this year (her husband Stephen Howden plays Warbucks in the show.)  Both Rosa and director Yaacov Amsellem have many years' experience working with children on stage. "I love working with children; I don't treat them in rehearsals any differently than I treat adults," states Rosa.  "They must be disciplined, but the great thing about kids is that they're not afraid to try new things or to appear silly. They're very open."

This year LOGON is celebrating its ithirty-sixth anniversary, making it the oldest existing English language theater group in Israel. Founded in 1981 in Omer, near Beersheba, the group, which draws participants from the south of the country, performed mostly Gilbert & Sullivan operettas for its first fourteen years. Deciding it had exhausted the G&S repertoire (and perhaps its audience), LOGON began producing Broadway musicals, which the company now stages every year in performances throughout the country.

LOGON is the only English-language theater group whose ticket sales support local charitable organizations like ESRA.

As the song says, tomorrow continues to be exactly one day away, so get your tickets from ESRA for Annie in Raanana, February 26 (09 748 2957) and in Modiin, March 5 (054 420 8550).  

LOGON is also performing in Beersheva, Nesher, Jerusalem, Rehovot, Tel Aviv and Netanya. Information about performances and dates at:  www.negevlightopera.com, LOGON ticket hotline 08 641 4081

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Comments

Patrice Perez
2017-02-11
List of venues, dates, times and tickets available here - www.tixwise.co.il/annie
Myra Suissa
2017-02-09
Lovly article Pattie.
ed spitz
2017-02-09
Fabulous article, Patti, about Annie. Just one minor correction: in it's first 14 years, Logon put on MOSTLY Gilbert and Sullivan. We also did The Merry Widow and La Belle Helen during this period.

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About the author

Patricia (Patti) Golan

Patricia (Patti) Golan is a veteran journalist who has lived in Israel since 1969. Among other positions, she was the Middle East correspondent for the Christian Science Monitor, Radio and Voice of...
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