I have played the role of Miss Hannigan a total of three times, and I would LOVE to play her again before I die.
I love Miss Hannigan.
And what I find interesting is the biggest fans of my Miss Hannigan are usually the mothers of the children in the show.
This is for two reasons.
First, I treat the kids like my peers.
I expect certain things from them, and if I don’t get it, they hear about it (though, I admit I try to clean up the language); and the kids seem to react well. I also listen to them.
Second, the moms can relate to my Miss Hannigan.
My Miss Hannigan is a woman who is slowly being tortured by society.
She hates children.
This is not an acceptable attitude for a woman in the 1930s.
Her job is to deal with children; it’s her own personal hell.
But it’s the 1930s and jobs (much less jobs that pay well and provide room and board) are all but impossible to find.
So she cannot, practically, leave this job which is her own personal hell.
And let’s face it, those kids are rotten to her. They are pushing her right over the edge.
She is not a drunk – she drinks to survive her life.
Hannigan is a modern woman caught in the 1930s.
Each production has had its own adventure.
Mission Hills Dinner Theater, where I first met Ed Gaynes and Pamela Hall.
(Their daughter Jessica was Annie; and their daughter Megan filled in as Molly.)
I previously blogged about this adventure – using Lee Press-on-Nails in performance without having tried them before. Disaster when it came to costume changes! Lee Press-on-Nails flying everywhere as I tried to button up my dress!
Next up, San Pedro Community Theater (or some such).
In Little Girls, the director had me pretend to cut paper dolls (the kind that are all attached so they unfurl like a banner) and then cut off the heads of the dolls.
Great bit, until the night I cut off the tip of my finger too!
Lastly, Santa Monica Civic Theater.
Middle of the run, change in sound operator.
Annie goes out and starts to talk – her mic is turned ALL the way up (well past 11).
She sounds like a fucking dinosaur.
I go out, terrified what will happen when I open my mouth – knowing that if this happens to me, Miss Hannigan will be standing on stage in a puddle of her own pee.
(I am sure the stage hands were thankful that this did not happen, as am I.)
So I ain’t dead yet, so there is still time for me to Hannigan – again.