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Charles Evans Hughes

'Annie' demonstrates its durability at the Hippodrome

'Annie' demonstrates its durability at the Hippodrome

There's nothing like a little orphan to combat a Depression.

Hollywood pushed that concept hard with Shirley Temple movies. Broadway seconded the notion with "Annie," the much-loved, much-traveled musical that is back in Baltimore, flashing enough smiles to stimulate job growth, deficit reduction and bipartisanship across the land.

OK, maybe not. But the show does provide a welcome lift. Even those who, like me, tend to flinch involuntarily at the thought of hearing "Tomorrow" belted out again by a perky 11-year-old girl may find themselves won over.

It helps that there's an authoritative stamp on the staging from show business veteran Martin Charnin,...