is 3 A.M. on a chilly morning in early December 1933.
Six orphans are asleep in the dormitory of the Girls'
Annex of The New York City Municipal Orphanage. The
orphans are Molly, the littlest, who is six; Kate, the
next-to-littlest, who is seven; Tessie, the crybaby,
who is ten; Pepper, the toughest, who is twelve; July,
the quietest, who is thirteen; and Duffy, the biggest,
who is also thirteen. Molly is just waking up from a
dream and crying out for her mother. The other orphans
wake up and begin arguing. Annie, who is eleven and
has been up cleaning, runs in. Annie comforts Molly,
who begs her to read the note that Annie's parents left
when they abandoned her. Pepper reminds the group that
they also left Annie one-half of a silver locket and
kept the other half with a promise to reclaim her one
day. Annie then pulls Molly close to her and sings about
the parents she imagines, but has never known. The other
orphans join her ("Maybe"). Thinking about
her parents inspires Annie to run away from the orphanage
to search for them. She packs a bag and is ready to
leave when she is discovered by Miss Hannigan, the villainous
director of the orphanage. Miss Hannigan makes all the
orphans get up to scrub floors and strip the beds to
"pay" for Annie's misbehavior. Their complaints
that it is four o'clock in the morning fall on deaf
ears. As they clean, the orphans complain about their
difficult circumstances ("Hard-Knock Life").
the morning, when Bundles McCloskey, the laundry man,
comes to make a pick-up from the orphanage, the orphans
take advantage of the fact he is flirting with Miss
Hannigan and sneak Annie out of the building in a laundry
bag. Realizing Annie has escaped, Miss Hannigan calls
for the police as the orphans celebrate ("Hard-Knock
is on a street lined with tenements when she encounters
a mutt being chased by dog catchers. She rescues him
and sings "Tomorrow," expressing her feelings
that both she and the dog have to believe everything
will be fine for them in the future. When a policeman
makes her prove the mutt is her dog, she names it Sandy
on the spot and then calls it to come to her. The dog
miraculously responds, and they become a team.
at the orphanage, Miss Hannigan is being tormented by
the orphans. She expresses her disgust with her lot
in life as the keeper of "Little Girls." The
policeman arrives and returns Annie. As Miss Hannigan
is threatening Annie, Grace Farrell, an attractive and
well-dressed young woman, enters, carrying an attaché
case. She is the private secretary to the billionaire,
Oliver Warbucks, who wants to invite an orphan to his
mansion for Christmas. Annie campaigns for the opportunity,
but Miss Hannigan does everything in her power to discredit
Annie. Grace is instantly drawn to Annie and is determined
to bring her to the Warbucks mansion. She demands that
Miss Hannigan sign the required papers, and then she
escorts Annie to a waiting limousine. Miss Hannigan
fumes as the orphans celebrate ("Little Girls
brings Annie to Mr. Warbucks' mansion and introduces
her to the servants. Annie is in awe of her new surroundings,
but she is made to feel completely welcome by the staff
("I Think I'm Gonna Like it Here"). Oliver
Warbucks arrives on the scene. He is a powerful figure
in the country and a pivotal player in the current economic
crisis. He rarely stops thinking about business and
is taken aback by Annie's appearance in his house. He
had expected the orphan to be a boy and is puzzled by
the prospect of dealing with a little girl. Yet, almost
immediately, he feels a deep connection to Annie's spunk
and personality, which remind him of his own humble
beginnings. Contrary to his usual behavior, he decides
to take a night off. Warbucks escorts Annie to see a
movie at the Roxy, then treats her to an ice cream soda
and a hansom cab ride around Central Park.
she tours New York with Warbucks and Grace, Annie sees
the city in a new way ("N.Y.C.") At the end
of the evening, Annie is exhausted and Warbucks carries
her home. As they leave Times Square, the faithful Sandy
enters and then forlornly wanders off in search of Annie.
arrives at the orphanage to tell Miss Hannigan that
Oliver Warbucks wants to adopt Annie. She leaves just
as Miss Hannigan's brother, Rooster, arrives with his
girlfriend, Lily. Rooster has come to borrow money from
his sister. Miss Hannigan shares the news of Annie's
pending adoption by Warbucks. The siblings lament their
misfortunes ("Easy Street").
is talking to the President of the United States, Franklin
D. Roosevelt. A package from Tiffany & Co. arrives,
containing a silver locket for Annie. Warbucks tells
Annie that he wants to adopt her and gives her the locket.
Instead of the happy response he imagined, Annie begins
to weep. When he learns about her dream of finding her
parents and the secret of the half-locket she has treasured
for so long, he sets his own feelings aside and orders
an exhaustive search for Annie's parents. Warbucks laments
his loss, but is resolved to find Annie's real parents
("You Won't Be an Orphan for Long").
and Warbucks are guests on the popular Bert Healy radio
show ("Maybe Reprise"). They make a
plea for Annie's parents to return, and Warbucks offers
$50,000 to anyone who can prove they are her mother
orphans are listening to Bert Healy's radio show and
sing their own version of Bert Healy's signature song,
"You're Never Fully Dressed without a Smile."
Miss Hannigan, furious about Annie's good fortune, sends
them out of the room. Rooster and Lily arrive, disguised
as Ralph and Shirley Mudge, claiming to be Annie's parents.
They reveal their identity to Miss Hannigan and share
their plot to claim Annie and the $50,000 reward. Once
they have the money, the trio plan to do away with Annie
and live in the lap of luxury ("Easy Street
the mansion, Annie and Warbucks discover that Grace
has interviewed and dismissed hundreds of people claiming
to be Annie's parents, but no one mentioned anything
about a locket. The F.B.I. has also reported that the
purchasers of the locket cannot be traced. It appears
that Annie's quest cannot have a happy ending. Warbucks
declares his intention to adopt Annie, and Annie accepts.
Preparations are set in motion for a party to celebrate
the adoption. Annie and Warbucks express their delight
with the idea of becoming father and daughter ("I
Don't Need Anything but You"). Just then, Rooster
and Lily, disguised as Ralph and Shirley Mudge, appear
with the other half of Annie's locket.
also have Annie's birth certificate, which has been
supplied by Miss Hannigan. They announce their intention
to take Annie home to live with them in New Jersey.
Warbucks convinces them to let Annie spend Christmas
with him at the mansion. The Mudges can pick her up
the next day. Rooster and Lily agree and leave. Everyone
toasts Annie Mudge, but Annie breaks into tears and
runs upstairs. Grace tells Warbucks that she feels she
has seen Mudge before.
next morning, Annie waits apprehensively for the Mudges
to claim her ("Maybe Second Reprise").
President Roosevelt arrives with the news that the F.B.I.
has analyzed the handwriting on the note Annie's parents
left behind to trace their identity. The investigation
revealed that her real parents were named David and
Margaret Bennett and that they are dead. The Mudges
are impostors. Annie and Warbucks declare their love
for each other. They realize only Miss Hannigan could
have given the Mudges the locket and birth certificate.
Miss Hannigan arrives with the orphans to celebrate
Christmas. As the Mudges arrive to claim Annie, another
communication from the F.B.I. reveals their true identities
as Rooster and Lilly. Miss Hannigan tries to save herself
by pretending to have no association with them and begins
leading the orphans in Christmas carols. All three are
hauled off to jail, and Roosevelt promises everyone
that they will have a much better life in the future...
a "New Deal" ("Tomorrow Reprise").
A huge package arrives for Annie; when she opens it,
Sandy jumps into her arms.