Today is Baby’s First Trip to NYC (or NYZ, as he calls it after mishearing the lyrics to the song.) Generous Uncle G is taking us to see Annie on Broadway and so in preparation, I downloaded the Original Broadway soundtrack and rented the movie. I was a little concerned about the movie, actually. My recollection of it is that it’s kind of mature and kind of grim — at least for a 4-year-old. I remember being scared of some parts of it (mostly the ending chase scene where Punjab is dangling his unfurled turban to rescue Annie from Rooster’s tight grip at the top of…what? A crane? A ladder?) and as I prepared to show it to The Who, I was a little apprehensive. As luck would have it, though, there’s another version. This one is Disney and was apparently a made-for-TV movie starring Kathy Bates and Kristin Chenoweth. The reviews of it also mentioned that it was much closer to the play than the movie made in the 80s, so that’s the one we went with.

Good decision. A lot was left out of this version and based on the number of questions The Who asked in the first ten minutes of this one, the other one would have been way above his head. I wrote these down as soon as we finished watching, so these are just the ones I could remember. He literally had a question every two or three seconds. By the time he watched it again the next morning, he had way fewer questions and now when he listens to the soundtrack, he can pretty much tell me the story. Although he is still confused about Easy Street (where is it again?) and the lyric, “so how come I’m the mother of the year?” (“She’s not a mother. So why does she keep saying she is?”)

A [completely non-comprehensive] list of questions and comments that The Who asked during his first screening of Annie:

  • Didn’t her locket fall off when it broke? How did it stay on her necklace?
  • I would like to live in the “uppanage” (orphanage.) It looks like a big “epartment” building.
  • What’s an orphan?
  • Is Annie the oldest?
  • Annie is mean because she put up her fist when Pepper said that thing.
  • Why is his name Rooster?
  • Why is she getting into the laundry basket?
  • Where is she going?
  • Why does she have to go under all the laundry?
  • Why are they scrubbing the floors?
  • If Miss “Hagginan” doesn’t love Annie, why did she tell the policeman that Annie was her favorite?
  • She’s not a mother of the year. She’s just a babysitter.
  • Is that Easy Street?
  • I wanna live on Easy Street.
  • Why is there a show on the radio? Why isn’t there a show on the TV?
  • Why is Miss “Hagginin” mean?
  • Why doesn’t she like her job?
  • Is Annie gonna die?

I’m hoping that all the time he’s had to ask these questions and process the answers will help him both enjoy the play and also let us enjoy it (by piping down.) But I hear it’s 2.5 hours and that’s a long time for a little kid. Snacks. The key to stamina is always snacks.

I’ll post an update. Of course.

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