Friday, May 1, 2009

Smile, Darn Ya, Smile!

As a redhead named Annie, you can bet your bottom dollar that I watched the movie Annie every single day when I was little. There was that brief period in which I hated the musical, since kids would sing "Tomorrow" at me, but those days are over and I sincerely love it again. Sometimes when I'm down I'll put on the soundtrack and sing, "She's like a shine on your shoes, or hearing a blues that's great..." Except I can't sing well, so there was never a chance that this Annie could have been in Annie.

And maybe that's a good thing. Check out Life After Tomorrow, a documentary about women who played Annie (or were one of the orphans) on Broadway. Even though you can tell they all love the musical, it did kind of mess with their heads. One minute they're huge Broadway stars, and then next they're out the door because there's a more adorable kid taking their place. Also, they were kind of let run wild. (Sarah Jessica Parker mentions how they all used to run around Broadway before it got cleaned up, making fun of the prostitutes.)

Nowadays, I hope kids in theater are under a little more supervision, but there are still stage parents forcing kids to be perfect, and I'm guessing kids don't get therapy after their lose a role to kids who are younger and cuter. One person in the film makes a good point--if your kid says they want to be an astronaut, you don't send them to NASA. But if your kid says he/she wants to be a star, you can potentially make that happen. And that's not necessarily a good thing.

But it is nice to see that the women in Life After Tomorrow don't hate Annie. They all just say it was a wonderful but overwhelming time in their lives.

I can't embed the whole documentary here, but here's a taste from 20/20: