(Dominic Cavendish’s article appeared in the Telegraph, 12/7.)
“The sun’ll come out/ Tomorrow/ Bet your bottom dollar/ That tomorrow/ There’ll be sun.” Hope springs eternal in the little orphan Annie. And, boy – or rather, girl! – is that hope infectious.
She puts a defiant spring in the step of her fellow waifs and strays at the municipal orphanage. She brings out the humanity in the driven billionaire Oliver Warbucks, who takes her into his opulent care not just for Christmas, but for life. And, in an artistic stroke as brave as any Thirties’ political decision, Messrs Thomas Meehan (book), Charles Strouse (music) and Martin Charnin (lyrics) propel the cutesy poppet into the White House, where the beamy optimism of that signature song Tomorrow inspires FDR to set up the New Deal.