Full Synopsis

Full Synopsis

The scene opens on a morning in early December 1933. The Orphans, including Molly, Kate, Tessie, Pepper, July and Duffy are sleeping in the girl's annex of The New York City Municipal Orphanage. 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, comforts Molly, who begs her to read a 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 pulls Molly close 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 and search for them. She packs a bag and starts to leave when the villainous director of the orphanage, Miss Hannigan, discovers her. Miss Hannigan makes all the Orphans get up to scrub floors and strip beds to "pay" for Annie's misbehavior. As they clean, they complain about the difficult circumstances ("It's the Hard-Knock Life").

In the morning, Bundles, the laundry man, comes to make a pick-up from the orphanage. As Bundles is talking, Annie sneaks into the laundry bag.

Annie is on the streets of NYC when she encounters a stray dog being chased by dogcatchers. She rescues him and expresses her feelings that everything will be fine in the future ("Tomorrow"). When a policeman, Lt. Ward, makes her prove the mutt is her dog, she names him Sandy on the spot and calls the dog to come to her, which – miraculously – he does.

Back at the orphanage, Miss Hannigan expresses her disgust with her lot in life ("Little Girls") just before Lt. Ward returns with the runaway orphan. As Miss Hannigan is threatening Annie, Grace Farrell arrives at the orphanage to tell Ms. Hannigan that Oliver Warbucks wants to invite an orphan to his mansion for Christmas. Grace leaves just as Miss Hannigan's brother, Rooster, arrives with his girlfriend, Lily St. Regis. She shares the news of Annie's pending holiday visit with Warbucks. Rooster, Miss Hannigan and Lily lament their misfortunes ("Easy Street").

Grace brings Annie to the 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 Drake and the staff.

As she tours New York City with Warbucks and Grace, she sees the city in a new way ("N.Y.C.") Back at the mansion, Warbucks explains that he would like to adopt Annie. Instead of a happy response, Annie begins to cry. When he learns about her dream of finding her parents and the secret of the half-locket, he promises to search for Annie's parents.

Annie and Warbucks are guests on the Bert Healy radio show, "Hour of Smiles." They make a plea for Annie's parents to return, and Warbucks offers $50,000 to anyone who can prove they are her mother and father. The Orphans are listening to Bert Healy's radio show and sing their own version of the radio theme ("You're Never Fully Dressed without a Smile").

Back at the mansion, Grace has interviewed more than a thousand people claiming to be Annie's parents, but none of them know about the locket, so Warbucks declares his intent to adopt Annie, and Annie accepts. Just then, Drake leads in Rooster and Lily, disguised as Ralph and Shirley Mudge. They appear with the other half of the locket and the birth certificate, announcing their intentions to take Annie home to live with them in New Jersey. Warbucks convinces them to let Annie spend Christmas with him at the mansion, telling them that they may pick up Annie and the check the next day. Grace tells Warbucks that she believes she has seen Mr. Mudge somewhere before.

The next morning, Annie waits apprehensively for the Mudges to claim her ("Maybe – Reprise"). President Roosevelt arrives with the news that the F.B.I. has discovered that Annie's real parents were named David and Margaret Bennett, and they passed away a long time ago. The Mudges are imposters. As Miss Hannigan arrives with the Orphans to celebrate Christmas, Warbucks uncovers the Mudge's true identities. Louis Howe, the president's aide, hauls off Rooster, Lily and Miss Hannigan. Roosevelt declares that this Christmas is going to be the beginning of a wonderful new life... "A New Deal" ("Tomorrow – Reprise").