I want to have a serious conversation about Miss Hannigan. I think I’ve mentioned this before somewhere on social media. She’s the ostensible villain of ANNIE, but she’s actually an incredibly sympathetic character, and in an anticapitalist world she is the clear hero. She is the only person taking care of an entire orphanage - that is an absurd thing to ask of a person! But of course that kind of program is underfunded and always has been. (Side note: ANNIE, like the comic strip it’s based on, is right-wing propaganda designed to suggest that individual rich people doing charity is a superior system to government programs being well-funded, which is fucking ridiculous.)
She wants to be in a relationship with a man, and wants to raise children, and instead finds herself working all hours, so much that she doesn’t have the time to date. She’s watching the best years of her life slip away, in an era when women’s options were even more limited than they are now, especially the older they got. Along comes her brother, a shitty, manipulative person, who gives her an idea that, if she squints hard enough, seems like a reasonable way for her to maybe make enough money to not have to work, at least for a while. Of course he’s just conning her like he does everyone, but think about how little adult interaction she has in the entire show. The fact that any adult engages with her is exciting.
Anyway, I want to see a re-imagining of ANNIE, with Miss Hannigan in the lead role. What if it starred Adepero Oduye? We’ll talk.
Update: What about Merritt Wever?
This is my dream role. By the time the re-imagined version comes around to community theater, I’ll be just the right age (and bitterness level).