I’ve accepted the role of FDR in the upcoming Stage Right! Production of Annie. Auditions for the little ‘uns are Friday afternoon. My 10yo daughter and her tweeny friends are sticking out their chins and grinning and singing “Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow / Creeps in this petty pace from day to day” or whatever the lyrics are.
Here’s an interesting historical photo of Roosevelt holding a dog on his lap, and a little girl standing nearby.
In his famous 1933 “The only thing we have to fear is… fear itself” inaugural address, Roosevelt also said that “Only a foolish optimist can deny the dark realities of the moment,” but having acknowledged the gravity he immediately shifts his tone to one of optimism.
The creator of the Little Orphan Annie comic would probably be horrified to learn that the Broadway musical depicts Annie — at first hushed by a crabby cabinet member — as inspiring Roosevelt’s staff to invent the New Deal: Harold Gray was a populist conservative, and the comic regularly depicted union activists and government officials as meddlesome and untrustworthy.
Gray himself borrowed the name of his character from James Whitcomb Riley’s delightfully didactic poem, Little Orphant Annie, which featured goblins snatching naughty children away.