NORMAN — It’s a hard knock life at the Sooner Theatre during the upcoming production of “Annie.”
Based on the “Little Orphan Annie” comic strip, the musical tells the charming story of the young orphan Annie in 1930s New York City as she searches for her parents, who abandoned her years ago on the doorstep of a city orphanage run by the cruel Miss Hannigan.
When Annie escapes the orphanage to explore the city, she foils Miss Hannigan’s evil schemes, befriends President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, and eventually finds a new home and family in billionaire Oliver Warbucks, his personal secretary Grace Farrell, and a lovable mutt named Sandy.
Director Brandon Adams said the cast of third to seventh grade students runs the emotional gamut during the course of the production, with the story equal parts comedy, adventure and heartstring-tugging moments.
“I think you’d be hard-pressed to find a more energetic musical,” Adams said. “There’s nothing quite like 70 little voices making noise, singing songs and dancing.”
A part of the classic production’s memorable impact is the iconic musical favorites performed, Adams said, like “It’s A Hard Knock Life,” “Tomorrow,” “Easy Street,” and “You’re Never Fully Dressed Without a Smile.”
“I just think there’s something to seeing a show you’re familiar with. Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’re going to recognize a lot of these songs,” he said. “There’s a familiarity to it, you’ll be humming it during intermission and when you leave. It’s just an exciting, energetic experience.”
Adams said the theater is sticking to the iconic elements of the original production like Annie’s little red dress and a live dog to play Annie’s beloved mutt, Sandy.
“There’s an old saying, ‘Don’t ever perform with kids or dogs because no matter how good you are as an adult they’re going to steal the show.’ And with this one you get two of those -- bang for your buck. We’ve got kids and animals,” he said.