Project Description

Annie Broadway Poster ON

Annie (Broadway)

The 20th Anniversary Broadway production of Annie  with music by Charles Strouse, book by Thomas Meehan & lyrics by Martin Charnin opened at the Martin Beck Theatre on March 26, 1997 and ran until October 19, 1997.

Produced by Timothy Childs, Rodger Hess and Jujamcyn Theaters. Produced in association with Terri B. Childs and Al Nocciolino; Associate Producer: Tamar Climan and Herb Goldsmith. Originally Produced by The Goodspeed Opera House (Michael P. Price, Executive Producer). Based on LITTLE ORPHAN ANNIE created by Harold Gray.

Directed by Martin Charnin; Choreographed by Peter Gennaro; Scenic Design by Kenneth Foy; Costume Design by Theoni V. Aldredge; Lighting Design by Ken Billington; Sound Design by T. Richard Fitzgerald and Hair Design by Bobby H. Grayson.

STARRING Nell Carter (Miss Hannigan), Conrad John Schuck (Oliver “Daddy” Warbucks), Brittny Kissinger (Annie), Christiana Anbri (Molly), Cassidy Ladden (Pepper), Mekenzie Rosen-Stone (Duffy), Casey Tuma (July), Melissa O’Malley (Kate), Lyndsey Watkins (Tessie), Colleen Dunn (Grace Farrell), Jim Ryan (Rooster Hannigan), Karen Byers-Blackwell (Lily St. Regis), Raymond Thorne (FDR), Elizabeth Richmond (Mrs. Greer / Bonnie Boylan / Ensemble), Michael John McGann (Drake / Bert Healy / Morgenthau / Ensemble), Sutton Foster (Dog Catcher / Cecille / A Star to Be / Ronnie Boylan / Ensemble), Michael E. Gold (Bundles McCloskey / Sgt. Thayer / Sound Effects Man / Honor Guard / Ensemble), Jennifer L. Neuland (Oxydent “Hour of Smiles” Producer / Ensemble), Kelley Swaim (Annette / Connie Boylan / Ensemble), Drew Taylor (Lt. Ward / Hull / Justice Brandeis / Ensemble), Barbara Tirrell (Sophie, the Kettle / Mrs. Pugh / Perkins / Ensemble), Tom Treadwell (Dog Catcher / Fred / Jimmy Johnson / Howe / Ensemble), Brad Wills (Apple Seller / Fred McCracken / Ickes / Ensemble), Bryan Young (H.V. Kaltenborn’s Voice) and Cindy Lou (Sandy).

Swings: J. B. Adams and Christy Tarr.

Understudies: Michael E. Gold (Rooster Hannigan), Alexandra Kiesman (Annie, Tessie, Pepper, Duffy, July), Jennifer L. Neuland (Lily St. Regis), Mekenzie Rosen-Stone (Molly), Kelley Swaim (Grace Farrell), Christy Tarr (Grace Farrell, Lily St. Regis), Drew Taylor (Oliver Warbucks), Barbara Tirrell (Miss Hannigan), Tom Treadwell (F.D.R.), Casey Tuma (Kate) and Zappa (Sandy)

Assistant Choreographer: Jennifer L. Neuland; Assistant Scenic Design: Stephen Cowles; Associate Costume Design: Wallace G. Lane, Jr.; Assistant Sound Design: Richard Dunning; Associate Lighting Design: Marcia Madeira; Production Stage Manager: Bryan Young; Assistant Stage Manager: Jeffrey M. Markowitz; Casting: Stuart Howard, Amy Schecter and Howard Meltzer;

General Manager: Marvin A. Krauss Associates, Inc.; Company Manager: Kim Sellon; Exclusive Tour Direction: The Booking Group; Assistant Co. Mgr: Mary K. Witte; Production Company Manager: Kathleen Turner; National Tour Press Representative: TMG Marketing & Publicity; General Press Representative: Peter Cromarty & Company; Online Marketing: Toby Simkin; Advertising: Serino Coyne, Inc.;Dance Captain: Jennifer L. Neuland; Children’s Vocal Coach: Christine Cadarette and Animal Trainer: William Berloni.

Musical Supervisor: Keith Levenson; Musical Coordinator: John Monaco; Conducted by Keith Levenson; Associate Conductor: Anne Shuttlesworth; Music Preparation: Chelsea Music Services, Inc.; Violin: Blair Lawhead; Cello: Marisol Espada; Trumpet: Donald Downs and Craig Johnson; Tenor Trombone: Joseph Petrizzo; Tuba: Alan Ralph; Saxophone: Vincent DellaRocca, Tim Ries and Donald Haviland; Bass: Ray Kilday; Flute: Marco Granados; Guitar: Ed Hamilton; Drums: Mark Mule; Keyboard: Christine Cadarette and Anne Shuttlesworth.

Replacements

Replacement Cast Included Kristen Alderson (Molly – from Jul 28, 1997); Bianca Collins (Duffy – from Jul 28, 1997); Kristen Howe (Dog Catcher / Cecille / A Star to Be / Ronnie Boylan – from Jun 1997); Courtney Leigh (Tessie – from Jul 28, 1997); Gemini Quintos (Kate – from Jul 28, 1997);
Replacement Understudies: Gemini Quintos (Molly) and Sparky (Sandy)

LITTLE ORPHAN ANNIE used by permission of Tribune Media Services

Toby Logo Opening Nights BroadcastsIn addition to a complete website (the 2nd Broadway show to have one), and 1st-ever online study guide, a personal thrill for me occurred on the opening night of ANNIE at the Martin Beck Theatre (now renamed Al Hirschfeld Theatre) on March 26, 1997, where I was interviewing invited stars and dignitaries on the red carpet under the theatre marquee for live video streaming of my Opening Night video streaming.  Legendary CBS anchor Walter Cronkite arrived, and I took the opportunity to interview him live, to which he responded on camera “Son, it is not you that should be interviewing me, it is I that should be interviewing you, since you and this new medium are the future”.  At that very moment, I was finally aware I was part of history in the making with the formation of my New York based companies.

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ANNIE
20th Anniversary Broadway Production
Annie Broadway 20th Anniversary Production Annie starring Nell Carter Annie Broadway 20th Anniversary Production Annie starring Nell Carter Annie Broadway 20th Anniversary Production Annie starring Nell Carter Annie Broadway 20th Anniversary Production Annie starring Nell Carter Annie Broadway 20th Anniversary Production Annie starring Nell Carter Annie Broadway 20th Anniversary Production Annie starring Nell Carter Annie Broadway 20th Anniversary Production Annie starring Nell Carter Annie Broadway 20th Anniversary Production Annie starring Nell Carter Annie Broadway 20th Anniversary Production Annie starring Nell Carter Annie Broadway 20th Anniversary Production Annie starring Nell Carter Annie Broadway 20th Anniversary Production Annie starring Nell Carter Annie Broadway 20th Anniversary Production Annie starring Nell Carter Annie Broadway 20th Anniversary Production Annie starring Nell Carter Annie Broadway 20th Anniversary Production Annie starring Nell Carter Annie Broadway 20th Anniversary Production Annie starring Nell Carter Annie Broadway 20th Anniversary Production Annie starring Nell Carter Annie Broadway 20th Anniversary Production Annie starring Nell CarterAnnie 1997 Broadway Photo Brittney Sandy Annie 1997 Broadway Photo NYC Sutton FosterAnnie Broadway 20th Anniversary Production Annie starring Nell Carter Annie Broadway 20th Anniversary Production Annie starring Nell CarterAnnie Broadway 20th Anniversary Production Annie starring Nell Carter Annie Broadway 20th Anniversary Production Annie starring Nell Carter Annie Broadway 20th Anniversary Production Annie starring Nell Carter Annie Broadway 20th Anniversary Production Annie starring Nell Carter Annie Broadway 20th Anniversary Production Annie starring Nell Carter Annie Broadway 20th Anniversary Production Annie starring Nell Carter Annie Broadway 20th Anniversary Production Annie starring Nell Carter Annie Broadway 20th Anniversary Production Annie starring Nell Carter Annie Broadway 20th Anniversary Production Annie starring Nell Carter Annie Broadway 20th Anniversary Production Annie starring Nell Carter Annie Broadway 20th Anniversary Production Annie starring Nell Carter Annie 1997 Broadway Program Annie Broadway 20th Anniversary Production Annie starring Nell Carter Annie Broadway 20th Anniversary Production Annie starring Nell Carter Annie Broadway 20th Anniversary Production Annie starring Nell Carter Annie Broadway 20th Anniversary Production Annie starring Nell Carter

Musical Numbers

Act One:

“Maybe” (Brittny Kissinger); “It’s the Hard-Knock Life” (Brittny Kissinger, Orphans); “It’s the Hard- Knock Life” (reprise) (Orphans); “Tomorrow” (Brittny Kissinger); “We’d Like to Thank You” (The Hooverites); “Little Girls” (Nell Carter); “I Think I’m Gonna Like It Here” (Colleen Dunn, Brittny Kissinger, MichaelJohn McGann, Sutton Foster, Kelley Swaim, Barbara Tirrell, Other Servants); “N.Y.C.” (Conrad John Schuck, Colleen Dunn, Brittny Kissinger, Sutton Foster, New Yorkers); “You Make Me Happy” (Nell Carter, Colleen Dunn); “Easy Street” (Nell Carter, Jim Ryan, Karen Byers-Blackwell); “You Won’t Be an Orphan for Long” (Colleen Dunn, MichaelJohn McGann, Barbara Tirrell, Sutton Foster, Kelley Swaim, Servants, Conrad John Schuck)

Act Two:

“You’re Never Fully Dressed without a Smile” (MichaelJohn McGann, Elizabeth Richmond, Kelley Swaim, Sutton Foster, The Hour of Smiles Family); “You’re Never Fully Dressed without a Smile” (reprise) (Orphans); “Easy Street” (reprise) (Nell Carter, Jim Ryan, Karen Byers-Blackwell); “Tomorrow” (reprise) (Brittny Kissinger, Raymond Thorne, Conrad John Schuck, The Cabinet); “Something Was Missing” (Conrad John Shuck); “I Don’t Need Anything but You” (Conrad John Schuck, Brittny Kissinger); “Annie” (Colleen Dunn, MichaelJohn McGann, Staff); “Maybe” (reprise) (Brittny Kissinger); “A New Deal for Christmas” (Brittny Kissinger, Conrad John Schuck, Colleen Dunn, Raymond Thorne, Orphans, Staff)

THE ‘CURSE’ OF ANNIE

Annie Life After Tommorow 2006The ANNIE documentary Life After Tomorrow (https://vimeo.com/327565052), touches on the controversy surrounding the casting and eventual replacement of Joanna Pacitti with Brittny Kissinger.

Annie with Kristen Vigard (1977 Goodspeed)In the original Broadway production tryout at the Goodspeed Opera House in August 1976, producers replaced Kristen Vigard in favor of Andrea McArdle during the second week of the pre-Broadway run.  When ANNIE opened on Broadway at the Alvin Theatre on April 21, 1977, McArdle was in the lead role and Vigard was her understudy.

But regarding the 20th Anniversary production I was involved in….

The Life After Tomorrow documentary doesn’t go into much depth about the calamitous issue, so here, courtesy of ‘broadwayguy2‘ at BroadwayWorld is a general synopsis of what happened:

At some point during the out of town try-out / tour for ANNIE (Boston), Bill Berloni (wonderful animal hander) was instructed to teach Brittny Kissinger how to handle the dogs in the show. She was *not* an understudy for the role and he was told to not discuss the matter with anyone. Joanna Pacitti became ill and was commanded by doctors to take several days off, under threat of reporting her parents and the show to authorities if they pressed her to perform. At that time, the understudy first went on, then Kissinger – not the designated understudy – was put on it the show, much to the confusion of the cast and the ire of the understudy and her family.Joanna Pacitti

The producers then decided to split the role between Pacitti and Kissinger, with Kissinger performing at critics’ previews and opening night and New York. Pacitti’s agents and family became upset and pointed out the contest, as advertised, and signed contract stated that the contest winner would hold the role of Annie, not share it.

At that time, the producers quite literally slid a note under the door of the Pacitti hotel room very late in the night informing them that Pacitti was being released from the show and a car would be waiting in the morning to return the family to their home in Philadelphia.

Pacitti’s mother called Berloni and they snuck her out of the hotel at 2am to a nearby hotel where Berloni secured a room and she was able to play with her Sandys. In the morning, Berloni arranged for a child psychologist to be there with her and for a list of cast members that she wanted to say goodbye to to be shuttled to where she was staying and later that day, the Pacitti family returned to Philadelphia.

No one else in the company knew of the firing until that night when the producers called a meeting at half hour and informed the company that Pacitti left the show, was doing well and sent her regards and well wishes and that Kissinger would be the new Annie. According to Berloni it was obviously a very upsetting and emotional meeting and half the company knew very well that what the producer stated about Pacitti to be blatantly false.

Several company members approached the producers and union asking about what happened and were told to let the incident go. Rumor in the company was that the producers had hoped to generate the buzz from the original production when McArdle assumed the role (though THAT was slightly less dramatic). Soon after, seven people, including Berloni, who were vocal about their dislike for what has transpired were threatened with firing if they didn’t drop the matter.

ABC also came down hard on the producers as they had been filming a documentary special about the show and casting of Annie. Berloni also pulled his lead dog, Zappa, from the show and gave him to Pacitti. CindyLou, the understudy Sandy, then assumed that role as well.

Many members of the original cast boycotted the show, the press was not friendly..

For more information about this, http://www.playbill.com/article/fired-annie-star-threatens-50m-lawsuit-com-69673

My COVID-19 Parodies of ANNIE in April 2020 and May 2022 in Shanghai Lockdown 

Parody... Grannie Re imagined Poster

Annie COVID 19 Shanghai 2022 reimagined Poster

See over 100 more of my Broadway Parodies or my 75 Shanghai Lockdown parodies.

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