This show is so iconic, to witness this New North American Tour of the Iconic Tony Award-winning musical to premiere at The Dolby Theatre ∙ November 29 – December 18 – is astounding.
Holding onto hope when times are tough can take an awful lot of determination, and sometimes, an awful lot of determination comes in a surprisingly small package. Little Orphan Annie has reminded generations of theatergoers that sunshine is always right around the corner, and now the best-loved musical of all time is set to return in this new production – just as you remember it and just when we need it most. This celebration of family, optimism and the American spirit remains the ultimate cure for all the hard knocks life throws your way.
This new multi-week tour is produced by TROIKA Entertainment, LLC. TROIKA Entertainment’s COO and Executive Producer, Kori Prior says, “We’re thrilled to be bringing such a fresh, new and heartfelt production to audiences across North America starting this fall.” “This show, with its iconic title character, continues to delight generations of theatre-lovers old and new by joyfully singing directly into the face of great adversity with perseverance, guts and guile,” says director Jenn Thompson. “For decades, ANNIE has continued to shine brightly, not only as an appeal to our better angels, but also as an example of the thrill of hope, hard-won: promising a better ‘Tomorrow’ not only for Annie herself, but for all who need her message now more than ever.”
ANNIE is directed by Jenn Thompson, who at the age of 10 stepped into the role of “Pepper” in the Original Broadway production, choreographed by Patricia Wilcox (Motown, A Night with Janis Joplin), with orchestrations by Dan DeLange. Talitha Fehr is the Music Coordinator and Elaine Davidson is the Music Director. The design team includes scenic design by Wilson Chin (Pass Over), costume design by Alejo Vietti (Jersey Boys), lighting design by Philip Rosenberg, sound design by Ken Travis (Disney’s Aladdin), hair & wig design by Ashley Rae Callahan and casting by Paul Hardt of Hardt Casting, LLC.
In the title role of Annie is Ellie Pulsifer, a 12-year-old actress from South Florida, making her tour debut. Christopher Swan will star as Oliver Warbucks. In the role of Miss Hannigan is Stefanie Londino. Also starring in the tour are Julia Nicole Hunter as Grace, Nick Bernardi as Rooster, Krista Curry as Lily and Mark Woodard as FDR. Addison, a stray mutt rescued by William Berloni through the Humane Society in 2017, stars as Sandy. The lovable mutt “Sandy” is once again trained by Tony Award®Honoree William Berloni (ANNIE, A Christmas Story, Legally Blonde). The Orphans are Riglee Rut
The Orphans are Riglee Ruth Bryson, Bronte Harrison, Vivianne Neely, Izzy Pike, Kenzie Rees and Valeria Velasco. The featured ensemble includes Kolten Bell, Bradley Ford Betros, Luther Brooks IV, Harrison Drake, Laura Elizabeth Flanagan, Jataria Heyward, Carly Ann Moore, Kevin Ivey Morrison, Leeanna Rubin, Andrew Scoggin, Sophie Stromberg and Kaley Were.
Hailed by the Chicago Tribune as, “one of the best family musicals ever penned!”, ANNIE features a book by Thomas Meehan, music by Charles Strouse and lyrics by Martin Charnin. All three authors received 1977 Tony Awards® for their work. The original production of ANNIE had its world premiere on Aug 10, 1976 at the Goodspeed Opera House (Michael J. Price, Executive Director) and opened on Broadway on April 21, 1977 at the Alvin Theatre (Neil Simon theatre). It went on to win the New York Drama Critics Circle Award for Best Musical, seven Drama Desk Awards including Best Musical, the Grammy for Best Cast Show Album and seven Tony Awards including Best Musical, Best Book (Thomas Meehan) and Best Score (Charles Strouse, Martin Charnin). It closed on Broadway after playing 2,377 performances.
ANNIE was revived on Broadway in 1997 and again in 2014. It has been made into a film three times (1982, 1999, 2014) and was most recently featured as a live television production on NBC. The show remains one of the biggest Broadway musical hits ever; it has been performed in 28 languages, and running around the world for about 45 years.
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ADDISON (Sandy) was adopted by guardian and trainer Bill Berloni in 2017 after an incredible journey. Originally found at the Harnett County Animal Shelter in Lillington, NC., rescue advocates Chris and Bruce Leone saw her photo and reached out to Bill to see if she could be a Sandy. With the help of volunteers and drivers she made her way to NYC thru the Outer Banks SPCA ending up at the Humane Society of New York where she immediately passed her audition and a star was born. Addison dedicates this performance to all the people who believe every animal deserves a loving home.
THOMAS MEEHAN (Book) is a three-time Tony Award winning librettist for the Broadway musicals Annie, 1977; The Producers, 2001 (co-written with Mel Brooks); and Hairspray, 2003 (co-written with Mark O’Donnell). He collaborated on many Broadway musicalsincluding I Remember Mama; Ain’t Broadway Grand; Bombay Dreams (with Meera Syal); Cry Baby (with Mark O’Donnell); Young Frankenstein (with Mel Brooks); Elf, The Musical (with Bob Martin); Chaplin (with Christopher Curtis); Rocky; the upcoming Dave, The Musical (with Nell Benjamin); and the off-Broadway musicals, Annie Warbucks; Death Takes a Holiday (with Peter Stone) and the upcoming The Lady Eve (with Maury Yeston). He was a long-time contributor of humor pieces to The New Yorker, which were published in a collection entitled Yma, Ava, Yma, Abba, Yma, Oona, Yma, Ida, Yma Aga… and Others, by Simon and Schuster. Mr. Meehan, in collaboration with the poet J.D. McClatchy, co-authored the libretto of the opera 1984, composed by Lorin Maazel, first performed at London’s Royal Opera House at Covent Garden in 2005. He was an Emmy Award winning writer of television comedy, and a collaborator on screenplays, including Mel Brooks’ Spaceballs, To Be or Not To Be, The Producers and One Magic Christmas. He was a member of the Council of the Dramatists Guild.
MARTIN CHARNIN (Lyrics). Martin’s career in the entertainment industry began in 1957 when he created the role of Big Deal (one of Jerome Robbins’ authentic juvenile delinquents) in the original company of West Side Story. He played the role for exactly 1,000 performances. Since then, he was involved in over 140 theatrical, television, film, and night club productions as a director, producer, composer, or lyricist. He is one of the dozen people who have won Emmys, Tonys, and Grammys, and the Peabody Award for Broadcasting. Annie, which came to Broadway in 1977, originally ran for 2,377 performances, and has been revived there threetimes. He directed Annie 19 times (after directing the original production in New York), in London, Montreal, Amsterdam, and Melbourne as well as Annie’s 14 national U.S. companies. He collaborated with Charles Strouse, Vernon Duke, Marvin Hamlisch, Mary Rodgers, and twice with Richard Rodgers on I Remember Mama and Two by Two. He wrote for, or directed, Fred Astaire, Ethel Merman, Jack Lemmon, Ann-Margaret, Jack Benny, Anne Bancroft, Betty Hutton, Sutton Foster, Sarah Jessica Parker, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Bebe Neuwirth, Barbra Streisand, Johnny Mathis, Larry Kert, Chita Rivera, Jane Lynch, Tony Bennett, Jason Alexander, and Jay-Z, among countless others, and for his wife, Shelly Burch (who originated a leading role in the original company of Nine). Most recently, “Tomorrow” from Annie became one of the 100 most performed musical numbers in the last century. CHARLES STROUSE (Music). A graduate of New York’s P.S. 87, Townsend Harris H.S., and the Eastman School of Music, Charles has studied composition with Aaron Copland, Arthur Berger, and David Diamond in the US and Nadia Boulanger in Paris. Charles has composed copious chamber music, two piano concertos, a string quartet and two operas. After which, being broke like most composers, he was a rehearsal pianist and dance arranger for many shows, played in bar rooms, ballet classes, at weddings and strip joints (a particular boon for one who was to write the music for the film The Night They Raided Minsky’s). One morning in 1960 he awoke to find he had written (with Lee Adams and Mike Stewart) Bye Bye Birdie (Tony Award), which is still among the most performed musicals in America, followed by Golden Boy with Sammy Davis, Jr. (Tony Nomination). Then came, Applause (Tony Award), It’s a Bird, It’s a Plane, It’s Superman, Rags (Tony Nomination) and Annie (Tony Award). In-between, there have been scores for movies including Bonnie and Clyde and All Dogs Go to Heaven. Throughout his career, Charles has received the Richard Rodgers, Oscar Hammerstein, Frederick Lowe and the Leonard Bernstein Awards for musical achievement. He is married to director/choreographer Barbara Siman and is the father of Benjamin (attorney, author, composer), Nicholas (psychotherapist), Victoria (screen writer) and William (also a screen writer).
JENN THOMPSON (Director) is thrilled to be helming the National Tour of Annie after having appeared as Pepper in the original Broadway run. Recent credits include a World-Premiere musical about another indomitable red-headed orphan; Anne of Green Gables – A New Musical at Goodspeed Opera House, the very same theatre that premiered Annie more than 45 years ago. Other shows at Goodspeed include: Bye Bye Birdie, Oklahoma! And The Music Man. Other recent credits include Diary of a Wimpy Kid – The Musical at Children’s Theatre Company in association with Kevin McCollum and Buena Vista Theatrical as well as Chains for Off-Broadway’s Mint Theatre, where Jenn’s 2016 production of Women Without Men garnered both Lortel and Off-Broadway Alliance Award nominations for Outstanding Revival as well as 5 Drama Desk Award nominations including Outstanding Director and Revival. In addition to extensive productions in NYC, Jenn’s work has been seen at theaters across the country including; Chicago Shakespeare Theatre, Denver Center, Hartford Stage, Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, Portland Stage, City Theatre, Theaterworks Hartford, Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival and many more. Jenn is married to actor Stephen Kunken, they live in Brooklyn NY with their daughter Naomi. This is for Martin, Charles, Tom and Peter. jennthompsondirector.com
PATRICIA WILCOX (Choreographer). Broadway: Motown the Musical (Astaire Award and the NAACP Award for Best Choreography), and A Night with Janis Joplin. Off-Broadway/National: Little Shop of Horrors, An Officer and a Gentleman, Children’s Letters to God, Bowfire, Blues in the Night (NAACP Nomination), Seussical. Regional: A Swell Party (The Kennedy Center), The Secret Garden (DCPA), The Music Man and Bye Bye Birdie (Goodspeed Opera House-Connecticut Critics Circle Award), Diary of a Wimpy Kid (CTC), Peter and the Starcatcher (Pioneer), Camelot (NSMT), Jesus Christ Superstar (Sacramento Music), Hair (ATC), Guys and Dolls (Paper Mill). Winter Olympics: Choreography for Ice Dancing. PattiWilcox.com WILSON CHIN (Scenic Design). Broadway and Off-Broadway: Pass Over (Broadway, Lortel Award nomination), Next Fall (Broadway), Cost of Living (Manhattan Theatre Club), A Commercial Jingle for Regina Comet (DR2), Space Dogs (MCC), The Thanksgiving Play (Playwrights Horizons). With director Jenn Thompson: The Secret Garden (Denver Center Theatre), Oklahoma! and Anne of Green Gables (Goodspeed Musicals). Opera: Lucia di Lammermoor (Lyric Opera of Chicago), Eine Florentinische Tragödie/Gianni Schicchi (Canadian Opera, Dora Award). Film/television: Pass Over (dir. Spike Lee), “Game Theory with Bomani Jones” (HBO), “Blindspot” (NBC). Eastern Region Board memb
What a great show, filled with funny bits, great songs, wonderful talent, everything you would want from a Broadway Musical, run don’t walk to see ANNIE.
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The Dolby Theater
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