Ann Reinking was obviously a lot more than Grace Farrell. She was a Tony Award winning choreographer (for the Chicago revival starring Joel Grey and herself and Bebe Neuwirth), a brilliant dancer, a talented singer, a Bob Fosse lover and muse, and an activist on behalf of Marfan Syndrome. But so often, a person to YOU is whatever they were when you first encountered them, and for me, that was her role in Annie. I loved Annie as a kid. I would have trampled every child in the world to play Annie on a stage (you know, after they knocked “Tomorrow” down several keys — no, more keys than that; yep, keep going… yeah). That movie is obviously rife with very strange choices, but it’s chock-a-block with absurdly talented people giving the whole thing their all, and her Grace was, well, all grace. I watched her dance as though the wind had made her, and always thought that if I were standing on that set next to her, she would smell like a light floral perfume. There was just something light and airy and fresh about her. It’s silly, the things you think of when you’re six, but that stuck with me.
I wish we’d had more photos from Annie, but please enjoy the glorious shots I did find from her life. And if you want to watch her in that stunning canary dress AND lament the fact that Geoffrey Holder (Punjab) and Roger Minami (the Asp) deserved so much better than EVERYTHING they got from this movie, here’s Ann gliding through the Warbucks manse in “We Got Annie”:
Seriously, those music changes… no, John Huston. No. But these people are all effing professionals and so they did their jobs and did them well. RIP, my lady. I’m glad you got Annie.