I recently had the opportunity to see the musical production Annie at the Fabulous Fox Theatre in Atlanta, Georgia. Annie has been a long-time favorite, ever since I was a young girl. My grandmother sewed several Annie inspired outfits (I clearly remember a romper and the red dress) and I even had a permanent during the craze to complete the Annie look with my own curls. I was nearly 8 years old when the movie was released and my parents took me to the big city of Atlanta from our small town in South Carolina to see the musical production. So, to take my son back to see the show at the same age was pretty exciting. And, to make it even more exciting, one of my cousins was in the cast of this production!
As we sat and waited for the curtain to lift, I started remembering my view of the stage as an 8 year-old, something I hadn't ever really pondered before. I had always remembered the clothes and the hair and the excitement that the film and the musical stirred in me. I also noticed the little girls in the theatre with their Annie shirts and dolls and books that some were hoping to get signed by the cast. And, as I reflected I couldn't help but wonder what was so special about this fictional character.
Of course, Little Orphan Annie had been around for many years in comic strips before she came to life on stage and on screen. But, the entire Annie phenomenon was captured for me in just one line of the musical. Annie wisely tells some "down and out" adults in Hooverville, "Well, you gotta have a dream." She is right, isn't she? If we don't have a dream, how will we ever become who we were created to be? Annie didn't accept her circumstances. She wanted to be loved. She wanted to be cared for. She wanted to be able to love back. And, after years of not giving up, she had her dreams come true...even if they were different and even much bigger than she could have imagined!
My cousin is one example of someone chasing her dreams. She has experienced a traveling Broadway show and landed a part in one of her dream productions, Annie. However, you don't become part of the Annie cast without having a plan and some dreams. And, you don't fulfill God's destiny for your life without a plan and some dreams. What are your dreams? Write them down (Annie had a letter written by her parents that she re-visited often) and share them (it was no secret that she was leaving that orphanage someday).
Annie is a great reminder to us that we should always be striving toward something greater. Afterall, "you gotta have a dream."
Whitney R. Simpson
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