As the synopsis reads, "Annie Warbucks picks up the action 30 seconds after the finale of its smash predecessor, Annie." It may be 30 seconds after the story's finale, but it is 16 years following the original Annie's Broadway debut. Charles Strouse and Martin Charnin, who created the music for Annie in 1977, return with toe-tapping songs and well-rounded ballads that lift the spirit. There may not be a "Tomorrow" in sight, or a "Hard Knock Life" (it's unlikely that rap artist Mase would find much to sample from this selection), but variety and humor are here, and an altogether worthwhile Broadway experience is represented through these songs. The story's plot involves Daddy Warbucks' engagement to a woman he does not love, just so that he may keep Annie the orphan. Annie believes that Daddy Warbucks will lose interest in her once he marries, so she runs away. There has always been a certain political element with Annie, if only for history's sake, since the comics and plays have often avoided a real stance toward the left or right -- aside from Daddy being Republican, loud and stubborn, and very, very rich. This provides the opportunity for President Roosevelt to pop in halfway through, as the whole country is on a search for runaway Annie. How else would listeners get to hear the president join in with a show-stopping choir on "Somebody's Gotta Do Somethin'"? Kathryn Zaremba takes on the role of Annie and, yes, she is spunky and tough and can belt "Annie Ain't Just Annie Anymore" like any real Annie contender. Sequels, which are rare on Broadway, hardly ever pan out as expected, and riding on the wings of a classic is risky business. Annie Warbucks doesn't battle for any crown; it simply adds a new story. It is a good story, with good music, and not scrapped together just for the purpose of making a sequel.
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AllMusic Review by Peter Fawthrop