I had a few thoughts, now having listened to it in its entirety.
Firstly, according to the back of the cd, the orchestra was a Slovakian Orchestra, not synthesized. Kudos to them, the orchestra was very good.
The Overture was a bit overly spastic for my tastes, particularly Hard-Knock Life. I loved that they added "Easy Street", though it made the transition to "Tomorrow" quite awkward.
I liked the small changes they made to the orchestrations in Maybe. Marissa was also fantastic.
I liked "Hard-Knock Life". I disliked the french horns being added to the main beat at the beginning (the part played by the harpsichord). The kids sounded great, and I loved all of the harmonies that they kept in there. I also liked that Alene got to keep her monologue (or most of it, anyway) at the beginning of the song.
I disliked the new orchestrations in "Tomorrow". Marissa, however sounded great.
I liked how they brought out the low trombone part throughout "We'd Like To Thank You". I also love the harmonies that this tour added to that song, and I'm thrilled that they were kept (I wasn't sure how much of the ensemble would be kept, but apparently a majority of them were).
Alene still cracks me up in "Little Girls", even without seeing her facial expressions.
"I Think I'm Gonna Like It Here" was great, especially from Elizabeth. She's truly amazing...can anyone else see her as Glinda in "Wicked"?
I'm glad that they kept the new little "Santa Dance" music in "NYC". I loved that piece of music, and it thrilled me that it was kept. I still say Monica Patton was one of the best actresses to play the star-to-be.
Once again, yay for keeping dialogue in "Easy Street". Shelly Burch had me in stitches as Lily. I loved her off-key "Easy easy easy streeEEeeEEeeeEt", followed by Alene's "shut up.". One thing I disliked was Alene's "what what what what what" after "instead of less". That bothered me.
"You Won't Be An Orphan for Long" was great. I love the ensemble from this tour.
The Entr'acte was great; I liked the changes to it. I liked the extra bars added before "Hard-Knock Life".
"Smile" was great as well....Chris Vettel is a very good Burt Healy, and the three Boylan Sisters were awesome. The kids did a great job...Molly Ryan really has a fantatic voice. It's unfortunate that that Taylor Bright had to do the "Who cares..." section through her nose (It sounds intentional, like it was directed like that). I loved that the dance portion was kept, and it sounded great.
"Tomorrow - Reprise" was nice...though the harmonies at the end of the second reprise sounded a bit dodgy to me...anyone else? Like one guy was off.
"Something Was Missing"...ahh, I've never particularly cared for this song out of context, and Conrad's vibrato is a bit much at time, but it was decent.
"Annie" and "Anything But You" are always good, of course. I loved the orchestrations in both of them, and the ensemble always shines.
The second reprise of "Maybe" was good, not much more to say, Marissa is always amazing, in my opinion.
"A New Deal for Christmas" was also quite amazing. I'm glad that the end (where the two groups echo each other) was changed to allow the kids to sing an octave below: it was probably much nicer on their voices as well as our ears.
"Tomorrow - Bows" of course, was great, as I've expressed my love for the ensemble several times.
Now, for Disc 2, I don't plan on writing a dissertation, but I was pleasantly surprised. I was expecting "reject songs" and therefore songs that were not as good. Well, I'll admit, I didn't care for "Lady of the House" or "1934", but the others were fantastic! I really liked "He Doesn't Know I'm Alive". It's such a great song with great lyrics. The three different "trapped in a trunk" songs were nice. I liked the lyrics best on the first one, and it was really neat to hear three different actresses singing them. I've always liked "Why Should I Change a Thing?" and "You Make Me Happy", which has the same tune as "Don't Mess With Mother". "Don't Mess With Mother"'s lyrics are kind of strange though, I have to say. Entertaining, but quite strange...not really fitting into Miss Hannigan's character, if you ask me.
In closing, I feel that this CD was quite nice, and I actually prefer it to the OBC (don't shoot me...). I didn't feel that the kids sounded too old, and I was just thrilled to shreds to have a new Annie CD from America!
Well, thanks for reading my novel. I'm curious to hear what everyone else thought.