“It’s A Hard-Knock Life And Decision” – Our Next MSCA Art Show At GCT Is “The Funny Pages”

On Monday, February 19th, MSCA president Kevin L. Williams and I (Lin Workman) were invited out to the Germantown Communiuty Theatre’s Supporters Appreciation event where they announced the upcoming season at GCT with a bit of song, dance, theatrics, and some good eats as well. We were excited to finally see the upcoming schedule, and happy to finally be able to share it with all of you!

There are 8 great shows coming in the theater’s 53rd season this year, and it was really hard to decide which play/musical was the best fit for the next MSCA art show there. After debating each of the shows- including their themes, audiences, dates, and more Kevin made the executive decision to go with…”Annie Jr.“!

Here’s Kevin to tell you more about the musical and our accompanying MSCA art show…

Greetings, MSCA’ers,

Monday, February 19, 2024, Germantown Community Theater held an event for their donors and supporters to announce all their shows for Season 53!  Lin Workman and I were able to attend, thankful to them, as this allowed us to choose the show.  With so many great shows, it was hard to narrow them down to just one.  But, we did:

ANNIE, JR!!  This all youth holiday musical will run December 6th – 22nd.  The play is perfect for the MSCA as it is based on the long-running comic strip Little Orphan Annie, so we will present:

“The MSCA Funny Pages”

This will give us an opportunity to feature our own original comic art for sale (pages, strips, etc.), as well as appealing to the vintage and retro loving audiences by recreating classic characters in our version, and more!

It is our hope that this choice will be a super successful opportunity for the membership for a few reasons:

  1. It will happen close to Christmas and other ‘shopping holidays.’  This means more impulse shopping will be had and increase the opportunity for members to sell.
  2. Annie Jr. will be a huge draw for parents and families who will all be on hand to see the art and buy!
  3. Should we have another MSCA Festival of Cartoon Art, we might find more shoppers attending?
  4. There really aren’t a lot of programs like ours happening in December, so it should be a big draw!

We hope someone will be able to jump on board to submit design ideas by the April 2, 2024, dinner gathering for “The Funny Pages” advertising (posters, post cards, digital press release, etc.). 

As a hard MUST, the deadline for art will be the Tuesday, December 3, 2024, dinner gathering.  Installation of the show will happen prior to the December 6 opening of Annie, Jr.

Many, many thanks to our fantastic friends at Germantown Community Theater!!Stay ‘tooned for more information!!

Your MSCA Prez,Kevin

What is the plot of Annie Jr? Annie dreams of being reunited with her parents and escapes the orphanage to try and find them. Annie discovers a new family in billionaire Oliver Warbucks, his personal secretary, Grace Farrell, and a lovable mutt named Sandy.

What is the difference between Annie, Annie Kids, and Annie Jr? In 1977 “Annie” made its way to the stage as a Broadway musical (including the smash hit, “Tomorrow”) with music by Charles Strouse and lyrics by Martin Charnin, and a book by Thomas Meehan. “Annie Kids” is a roughly 30 minute version of the show adapted for elementary school aged performers, with songs edited for this age range. “Annie JR” is a roughly 60 minute version of the show adapted for middle-school aged performers, and songs have been edited and keys changed to ranges appropriate for middle-school aged voices.

Created by Harold Gray and in syndication from 1924 to 2010, Little Orphan Annie is one of the most recognizable cartoon characters in American pop culture. With trademark curly red hair and wearing her iconic red and white dress, she has become a symbol of hope and courage to millions of fans. Believing a character who had no allegiance to family or society would free them up for adventures, Harold Gray decided to make his protagonist an orphan. Originally a young boy named Otto, Gray decided to switch genders when he realized that of the 43 strips running at the time, only three featured women in prominent roles. The strip took its name from the 1885 poem “Little Orphant Annie” by James Whitcomb Riley, and it made its debut on August 5, 1924, in the New York Daily News. Annie was appearing in less than 20 newspapers in 2010 when Tribune Media Services announced the strip’s cancellation – and readers were left with a cliffhanger ending..!!! Thankfully the story was resolved in 2014 in Dick Tracy (another Tribune strip) and continued “Daddy” Warbucks’s search for his missing adoptee. After Gray died in 1968, Little Orphan Annie was passed to a series of successors, including former assistant Tex Blaisdell and cartoonist David Lettick. Annie original strips left the comics pages in 1974 with reruns of Gray’s work taking up the real estate on newspaper pages. When the 1977 Broadway musical adaptation became a smash hit, interest in the strip was revived. Artist Leonard Starr took over the strip in 1979, restoring it to much of its former popularity. Starr retired in 2000. Even though the strip left the funny pages, Annie continues to appear sporadically in the Dick Tracy strip.

Over the years Annie has had incarnations on the radio, in multiple movies, TV shows, and musicals, featured in books, records, as a menagerie of merchandise, and much more.

One of the most successful adaptions was the 1982 “Annie” movie directed by John Huston and starring Albert Finney as Daddy Warbucks, Carol Burnett as Miss Hannigan, Ann Reinking as Grace Farrell, Tim Curry as Rooster, Bernadette Peters as Lily, and Aileen Quinn as Annie.

It was recently remade in 2014 and starred Jamie Foxx (Will Stacks), Cameron Dias (Hannigan), and Quvenzhané Wallis (Annie) – and the movie won it’s fair share of awards. (See links at the bottom of the page for more Annie info.)

Annie Jr.” will have performances from December 6th through December 22nd and will include some school matinee performances. With a perfect combination of street-smarts and optimism, Annie warms the hearts of the audience as we witness her rise from next-to-nothing in New York City. She is determined to find her parents, who left her at the orphanage years ago.

Like our previous GCT art shows- “‘Murica“, “Spamalittle“, and “Drawing Bood“, we will have “The Funny Pages” art show to coincide with “Annie Jr.” in the lobby of the theater.

Some of you long time members may remember that back around 2000/2001 the MSCA was part of the Rock103’s website back in the day, and our “The Funny Pages” cartoons were some of the first webcomics out there on the web. Tim  Spencer, the Rock103 webmaster and member of their “The Wake-up Crew” morning show, invited us to be featured on their site, link it to our website, and promote it on the air.

We had dozens and dozens of one to four panel gag toons and comic strips by our members featured on the Clear Channel website, and some were shared elsewhere like on the Outdoor Channel’s website!

I’d like to start another members gallery on our MSCA site, and maybe with the help of this art show we can revive The Funny Pages to live online again. So jump start your sense of humor and warm up the funny bone in your drawing arm- we’ve got toons to do!


Germantown Community Theatre
3037 Forest Hill Irene RD.
Germantown, TN 38138

For more info about Annie, check out:

12 Facts About Orphan (Little Orphan Annie) – Lena Marvel: FACTS.NET

10 Things You Might Not Know About Little Orphan AnnieJake Rossen: Mental Floss 

Little Orphant Annie” (1885) Poem By James Whitcomb Riley: Wikipedia

Little Orphan Annie” – Wikipedia

The Complete Little Orphan Annie”  Hardcover Book Series Published By The Library of American Comics – Wikipedia