Annie Warbucks
The world's favorite orphan returns in the sequel to the international smash hit.
Show Essentials
+ Ensemble

Full Synopsis

Act One

The show begins immediately after Annie ended: Christmas morning, 1933.

The billionaire Oliver Warbucks, his personal secretary, Grace Farrell, his servants, his newly adopted daughter, Annie, and her friends from the Municipal Orphanage are singing the closing bars of the song A New Deal For Christmas," which ended Annie. Two servants enter with a huge Christmas present and Sandy jumps out of it, happily reunited with Annie. Oliver Warbucks insists that Annie begin calling him Daddy and Annie celebrates her new name, Annie Warbucks ("Annie Ain't Just Annie Anymore"). As Daddy Warbucks is settling down to sing some Christmas carols with Annie and the orphans, his attorney, Simon Whitehead, and several of his accountants appear with business matters he needs to consider. The children leave and Daddy discusses his income taxes with his visitors. That conversation is interrupted by the arrival of Harriet Doyle, the Commissioner of the New York City Department of Child Welfare.

In Daddy Warbucks's study, Harriet Doyle reveals the reason for her visit. Since Daddy is not married, he has broken the law by adopting Annie. Commissioner Doyle has come to return Annie to the orphanage ("Above The Law"). As her assistant, Miss Clark, prepares to take Annie away, Attorney Whitehead suggests Daddy Warbucks get married quickly so he can keep Annie. The Commissioner agrees to allow Annie to remain at the mansion for 60 days to give Daddy time to find a suitable wife. Daddy instructs Grace, who obviously envisions herself as a possible wife for him, to prepare a list of eligible women. Annie is despondent over the news she will have to share Daddy Warbucks's affection with a stranger ("Changes"). Warbucks leaves with Whitehead and Grace to begin the search for the future Mrs. Warbucks.

Annie, on the balcony of the mansion, laments the fact that a kid and her father can't make a family ("Changes").

Back at the Municipal Orphanage, Tessie, one of the orphans, has been returned by a couple who had thought they wanted to adopt her. Annie arrives and shares her troubles with her friends. She shows them pictures of the women being considered as a possible wife for Daddy Warbucks and they find something dreadful about each candidate ("The Other Woman"). Daddy arrives with Dr. Margaret Whittleby, a child psychologist, who is one of the candidates. Annie leaves to have lunch with Daddy and Dr. Whittleby as the orphans respond with disdain to the idea of the psychologist as a mother for Annie.

A month later, Commissioner Doyle is checking up on Warbucks's progress. After interviewing 100 candidates, he still has no fiancée. Mrs. Kelly suddenly appears on the scene; she is introduced as an employee of Commissioner Doyle. Warbucks is taken by her manner. He gives her taxi money. Mrs. Kelly calls Annie "punkin" and says endearing things to her. Annie overhears Grace talking on the phone to a member of President Roosevelt's staff, who is offering her a job in Washington. Grace tells Annie that Warbucks's marriage plans have caused her to think she will have no place in the new scheme of things. She insists that Annie is mistaken when the child claims that Daddy should marry her. Grace leaves and Annie plots with the servants to convince Daddy to marry Grace.

For Annie's sake, the servants decide to risk their positions by commenting on Daddy Warbucks's marriage plans ("That's The Kind of Woman"). They advance the idea of Grace as the perfect wife. When they are through, Grace assures Daddy Warbucks that she had nothing to do with their efforts. Commissioner Doyle insists Grace is not mature enough to be considered as acceptable by her office. Grace reveals her plan to leave for Washington, which Commissioner Doyle encourages, as Warbucks tries to convince her to stay. After everyone leaves, Annie confesses that she put the servants up to supporting the idea of Grace. Daddy confesses he does care about Grace but knows she thinks he is too old for him ("A Younger Man"). Annie fails to convince him to tell Grace of his feelings.

Daddy Warbucks goes to Commissioner Doyle's office to sign papers related to his agreement to find a wife within 60 days. There, he once again encounters Mrs. Kelly, who assists him with the paperwork and thanks him for his kindness in giving her cab fare. He learns that she is from his old neighborhood - Hell's Kitchen - and Annie observes that he is very taken by her. Annie tries to distract him, but Mrs. Kelly tells Warbucks about her hard early life ("But You Go On"). During the song, she reveals that she is divorced and that her child has died. Commissioner Doyle appears and chastises her for socializing on the job. Warbucks demands that she be added to his list of eligible women as the Commissioner loudly objects. A phone call from England about a business matter causes Warbucks to leave the office abruptly with his entourage. Left alone, Commissioner Doyle congratulates Mrs. Kelly (Sheila) on her success. We learn they are mother and daughter. Mrs. Kelly has previously served eight years in jail for killing an "old geezer" with arsenic. They vow not to get caught this time ("Above The Law").

Daddy Warbucks prepares to go to England to deal with a financial crisis. He tells Grace to tell Commissioner Doyle that upon his return he will marry one of the women he's already met. He signs the marriage license papers at the urging of Whitehead so he can proceed with the engagement and wedding quickly when he gets back from England. When Daddy Warbucks asks Grace to help him decorate for his new wife, she decides she has to leave for Washington at once. Annie is distressed to learn of her planned departure. Commissioner Doyle comes in and Annie begs her to approve of Grace as Daddy's wife. She refuses and threatens to return Annie to the orphanage. Annie tells the orphans who are visiting her that she is going to run away. Her father is too busy to pay attention to her, Grace is leaving and she feels as if the whole situation is her fault. She says she plans to go "out west." She says she has herself to depend on-that will have to be enough ("I Got Me"). She gets Sandy and runs out. Daddy Warbucks learns about Annie's having run away and Grace's departure for the White House. He cancels his important travel plans and calls the White House for help.

Annie and Sandy are in a Pennsylvania Railroad train yard. They hop on a freight train with the help of two hobos("I Got Me- Reprise").

Act Two

It is six weeks later. Annie is sitting on a box in the yard of a Tennessee sharecropper's home. A weather-beaten fence with a mailbox, a few crates and some burlap are seen in the shadowy twilight. Annie is eating from a bowl as she is watched by Ella and Reverend Alvin Paterson and C.G., their ten-year-old daughter. Annie and Sandy found refuge in the Paterson house when she was being chased by railroad police. Annie lies, telling the Patersons her name is Ruby Keeler. Mr. Stanley, the mill owner, arrives and offers Alvin a day of work at the mill for five cents an hour. He asks who Annie is and the Patersons claim that Annie is Alvin's niece. The Patersons explain to Annie that the Tennessee River is the source of many of the area's economic woes because it floods in the spring and dries up in the summer. Annie tells Ella and C.G. she ran away because her father was getting married again and didn't want her. She thinks she did him a favor by getting out of his life. Ella says Annie doesn't understand "Love." She tells Annie you have to "open, open wide - there's a lot of room inside for love." Annie decides to go home and accepts the Paterson family's offer to take her back to New York. She says they can collect the reward money. She reveals her real identity and they realize that they have heard about her on the radio. They think the reward is $100.

At the White House, national policy is at a standstill as the search for Annie goes on. Senator Vandenberg accuses the President of failing to end the Depression because of the preoccupation with Annie. The President responds that he believes the White House staff has the heart, brains and dedication to both end the Depression and find a lost little girl. The Patersons appear with Annie and are shocked to find out that the reward is actually $100,000. While at the White House, the Patersons take advantage of the opportunity to tell the President their concerns about the Tennessee River ("Somebody's Got To Do Something"). At the conclusion of their appeal, the idea to create the Tennessee Valley Authority has been born. Sheila Kelly (alias Florence) tells her mother (Commissioner Doyle) that the involvement of the White House and the FBI scares her. She wants to end their scheme. Her mother convinces her to continue and they discuss their plot, which includes getting rid of everyone from Daddy and Annie to Grace and the servants ("Leave It To The Girls"). Grace overhears Commissioner Doyle refer to Mrs. Kelly as Florence and becomes suspicious.

On board the Staten Island Ferry the orphans celebrate Annie's return ("All Dolled Up"). They are joined by President Roosevelt, the Patersons, Annie, Daddy Warbucks, Attorney Whitehead and Mrs. Kelly. Warbucks and Mrs. Kelly waltz romantically together and then include Annie in their dance. The Patersons report that they have invested their reward money in Warbucks's stock. Mrs. Kelly sings a lullaby to Annie. The song she sings happens to be the lullaby Daddy Warbucks's mother used to sing to him. (He has forgotten he mentioned that to Commissioner Doyle.) When Commissioner Doyle reminds him he is now violating his agreement to marry within 60 days, he quickly proposes to Mrs. Kelly. The wedding is set for Wednesday and Mrs. Kelly leaves the party. Daddy Warbucks and Grace are left alone. She wishes him happiness and he goes inside to have dinner with Annie and his guests, leaving her alone ("It Would Have Been Wonderful").

A suite in the Waldorf-Astoria looks like the set of an Astaire-Rogers movie. Everyone is preparing for the wedding and Daddy tries to reassure Annie they will be happy with Mrs. Kelly ("When You Smile").

In the ballroom at the Waldorf-Astoria the orphans march in the wedding procession ("Wedding, Wedding"). As Reverend Paterson is about to declare Daddy Warbucks and Mrs. Kelly husband and wife, a cablegram arrives announcing Warbucks is ruined. Mrs. Kelly starts to run out, but is stopped by Grace who reveals Mrs. Kelly's true identity. Sheila Kelly and Commissioner Doyle in turn reveal that Attorney Whitehead was behind the entire plot to get Mrs. Kelly married to Warbucks so she could kill him and take his money. Whitehead resented the fact that Warbucks, a Tenth Avenue Shanty Irish, should have more money than he did himself, since he was born into one of the oldest families in Boston and attended Harvard. Annie then reveals the cablegram was a fake sent by Grace who wanted to have the chance to see if Mrs. Kelly really loved Warbucks. Warbucks learns he is still rich and now doesn't have to get married. However, he decides that he is not so old after all and finally asks Grace to marry him. They decide to adopt all the orphans and the wedding proceeds. Annie tells Molly she always knew the ending would be happy ("I Always Knew").

← Back to Annie Warbucks
Cast Size: Medium (11 to 20 performers)
Cast Type: Children
Dance Requirements: Standard

Character Breakdown

President Roosevelt
A new member of Daddy Warbuck's family. Still the spunky, friendly, outspoken girl we know and love.
Gender: female
Age: 10 to 13
Vocal range top: E5
Vocal range bottom: A3
Oliver Warbucks
A successful businessman with a warm heart. Rich, stiff-collared, bullish.
Gender: male
Age: 45 to 55
Vocal range top: G5
Vocal range bottom: B3
Grace Farrell
Faithful secretary to Mr. Oliver Warbucks. She eventually becomes the love interest to Oliver Warbucks. Poised, sweet, gentle.
Gender: female
Age: 25 to 35
Vocal range top: F5
Vocal range bottom: B3
Charlene Grace Paterson
Ella Paterson's daughter and friend to the Orphan Girls. She is a sweet girl who becomes very close to Annie.
Gender: female
Age: 9 to 12
Vocal range top: D5
Vocal range bottom: A3
The Executive Butler to Oliver Warbucks. Humble, caring, observant.
Gender: male
Age: 40 to 50
Vocal range top: F#5
Vocal range bottom: C4
Harriet Doyle
The first female Comissioner of New York and a bit of a scheming Bureaucrat. Ruthless, stubborn, conniving.
Gender: female
Age: 35 to 45
Vocal range top: B4
Vocal range bottom: G#3
Mrs. Ella Paterson
A loving mother who is looking out for Annie. Kind and wise.
Gender: female
Age: 35 to 45
Vocal range top: D5
Vocal range bottom: E3
Mrs. Shelia Kelly
An employee of the Child Welfare office and Mrs. Doyle's partner-in-crime. She attempts to marry Warbucks. Deceitful, smart, insincere.
Gender: female
Age: 18 to 21
Vocal range top: B4
Vocal range bottom: F#3

Orphan Boys; Orphan Girls; Cabinet Members; White House Staff; Wedding Party Guests; Train Passengers; Servants

Full Song List
Annie Warbucks: Overture
Annie Warbucks: A New Deal For Christmas (Reprise)
Annie Warbucks: Annie Ain't Just Annie Anymore
Annie Warbucks: Above The Law
Annie Warbucks: Changes
Annie Warbucks: The Other Woman
Annie Warbucks: That's The Kind Of Woman
Annie Warbucks: A Younger Man
Annie Warbucks: But You Go On
Annie Warbucks: Above The Law (reprise)
Annie Warbucks: I Got Me
Annie Warbucks: Love
Annie Warbucks: Somebody's Gotta Do Somethin'
Annie Warbucks: Leave It To The Girls
Annie Warbucks: All Dolled Up
Annie Warbucks: The Tenement Lullaby
Annie Warbucks: It Would Have Been Wonderful
Annie Warbucks: When You Smile
Annie Warbucks: Wedding, Wedding
Annie Warbucks: I Always Knew

Show History


Annie Warbucks is a direct sequel to the smash hit musical Annie, picking up right from where the latter show ends. Like its predecessor, the musical pulls its characters from the comic strip Little Orphan Annie by Harold Gray. The production team behind Annie--composer Charles Strouse, lyricist Martin Charnin, and book writer Thomas Meehan--reunited to produce the sequel.

The trio had attempted an Annie sequel a few years prior, originally entitled Annie 2: Miss Hannigan's Revenge, but it opened to negative reviews and abandoned plans of going to Broadway. Despite years of subsequent workshopping, the idea was scrapped; the cast and character changes were major, the largest cutting Miss Hannigan out of the show completely and replacing her with a new villain.


Beginning in the 1990s, Annie Warbucks was developed through several workshops at the Goodspeed Opera House in East Haddam, Connecticut. The musical then played several out-of-town tryouts, starting at the Marriott Lincolnshire in Chicago from February through April of 1992 and then the Drury Lane in Oakbrook, Illinois, followed by a five city United States tour in October 1992.

Following the tour, producers planned for Annie Warbucks to open on Broadway but when a major investor pulled out, those plans were delayed. During the delay, several characters were cut and the budget was reduced. An Off-Broadway production eventually opened on August 9, 1993 at the Variety Arts Theatre in the East Village. The cast included Harve Presnell as Warbucks, Donna McKechnie as Sheila Kelly, and Kathryn Zaremba in the title role. The show broke all off-Broadway box office records for the time, running for over 200 performances.

From there, the producers considered moving the show to Broadway and secured $2.5 million for a move but discovered they couldn't make the move in time to be eligible for Tony Award consideration; a provision in the Tony rules required that a show had to transfer to a Tony-eligible theatre within 30 weeks of its original opening in order to qualify for any nominations. The $2.5 million investment was lost and definitively ended all future plans of a Broadway engagement.


  • Annie Warbucks began life as Annie 2: Miss Hannigan s Revenge (the marquee had even been put up at the Marquis Theatre in anticipation of the moppet's return to Broadway).

Critical Reaction

"Full of peppy melodies, plenty of laughs, marvelous choreography, smart sets, bright lights and snappy costumes." -Ben Brantley, The New York Times

"Annie Warbucks is an enormously entertaining evening!" -The New York Daily News

"Surefire family fun! Charles Strouse's tunes are charmers. Well worth catching." -New York Magazines

Drama Desk Award

1994 - Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Musical, Nominee (Alene Robertson)



Based on Little Orphan Annie by permission of The Media Tribune Services, Inc.


Under the terms and conditions of your organisation’s Performance Agreement, the following credits must appear on all advertising (including websites) relating to the production. Credits must be reproduced faithfully in accordance with the following layout. No alterations or deletions can be permitted unless stated below.
Percentages listed indicate required type size in relation to title size.



Book by
Music by
Lyrics by


Original Production Directed by Martin Charnin 50%
Originally Produced Off-Broadway in New York
by Ben Sprecher, William P. Miller and Dennis Grimaldi 20%
By Special Arrangement with Karen Walter Goodwin 20%


Based on LITTLE ORPHAN ANNIE by permission of Tribune Content Agency, LLC 20%


Produced in Workshop by Goodspeed Opera House, Michael P. Price, Exec Prod,
Produced at The Marriott Lincolnshire Theatre by Kary Walker, Exec Prod,
Developed in cooperation with
members of the National Alliance for Musical Theatre 10%
The videotaping or other video or audio recording of this production is strictly prohibited.

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