Hit Broadway Musical Annie Awes Singapore
By Nishant Store, photos by BASE Entertainment
Annie’s original Broadway debut in 1977 sent ripples through an entire community of theatergoers at the time. Crowds of charmed fans repeatedly frequented sold-out shows during the six years Annie took Manhattan by storm. Now, thirty-five years in the wake of the original musical, Annie has finally opened its doors to Singaporean fans. Catch the show live at Marina Bay Sands between 10th July and 5th August this year and lose yourself in a panoply of 1920’s New York sets for a good two and a half hours.
Never been to a musical before? Annie may be the perfect performance to acquaint you with Broadway. The musical’s story draws from a comic strip entitled ‘Little Orphan Annie’, which was first published in 1924. Revolving around a courageous, vibrant, eleven-year-old orphan child (Annie), who desperately seeks out her parents in the middle of New York City, the show brings a 1920’s vibe to the audience with its classic melodies and costumes. Conmen, immaculately garbed gendarmerie, homeless stock market victims and a billionaire factory owner all play parts in setting the atmosphere for the plot.
Each act is embellished with memorable tunes that demand more than just an impressive amount of vocal control- the cast has to dance, act and sing simultaneously! As overwhelming as this may seem, execution on the part of the actors is flawless. Su Pollard, playing the plot’s main antagonist, Miss Hannigan, even manages to gulp down a few (scripted) drinks while hitting notes as high as skyscrapers. And while you can’t see the orchestra during the show, discreet screens adorning the theatre’s walls occasionally zoom in on the musicians backstage to constantly remind enthralled audiences of the driving force behind the play’s triumph.
Needless to say, each symphonic arrangement richly complements all the visual treats and fluently interweaves itself into the characters’ personalities. A defining feature of Annie’s musical score is that it keys the audience in on what each actor may do next a few seconds before the plot does.
Keeping all of this in mind, it’s easy to see why, as a performance, Annie proves to be more of an experience than a show. No worded description may ever live up to the immersion an audience will experience during the musical. Realistic sets, relatable themes, impeccable choreography, rich musical harmonies and a dash of humor make dozens of ambient New York backdrops come to life, right in the heart of Singapore. Of course, for those of you staunchly committed to the principle of ‘believing after seeing’, step out and pick up a ticket without any further ado; and don’t forget to bring along a friend for the ride!