The Salem Senior High School Musical Theatre Department will present "Annie" April 11-12 in the Senior High School auditorium.
Based upon the popular Harold Gray comic strip Little Orphan Annie, "Annie" had an initial six-year Broadway run. Afterwards, it spawned numerous productions in many countries, as well as national tours, and won the Tony Award for Best Musical. The musical's songs "Tomorrow" and "Hard-Knock Life" are among its most popular musical numbers.
The show takes place in 1933 and 11-year-old Annie is in the Municipal Girls Orphanage, along with Molly (age 6), Kate (age 7), Tessie (age 10), Pepper, July and Duffy (age 15). When Molly awakes from a bad dream at 3 a.m., Annie comforts her. She then asks her to read the note her parents gave her in 1917, when she was left on the doorstep of the orphanage. The note says that they will come pick her up, so she is always hopeful that they are still out there ("Maybe").
The Salem High cast of “Annie” includes, on couch, from left, Jacob Nash, Warbucks; kneeling, Joshlynn Irey, Molly; Sarai Bodine, Annie; kneeling, Karlie Stith, Tessie; Nick Rusyn, Drake; standing, from left, Chasity Kellogg, Grace; Hannah Whitcher, July; Brittany Zamarelli, Duffy; Sidney Dailey, Hannigan; Sophia Vigliotti, Kate; Hobie Butcher, Rooster; and Becca Linam,Lilly.
The Salem High School's "Annie" will be portrayed as a 16-year old girl - giving a whole new spin to the character as the oldest orphan from the orphanage who was never adopted.
Sarai Bodine plays Annie and Jacob Nash takes on the role of Daddy Warbucks. (Nash has already shaven his head!)
The story begins when Annie decides to escape to find her parents, but is caught by Miss Hannigan, who is currently suffering from a hangover. She is angered by this and forces all the girls to vigorously clean the orphanage ("Hard Knock Life"). Shortly after, Mr. Bundles, the laundry man, comes in to pick up the blankets. While Miss Hannigan is flirting with him, Annie climbs into the laundry basket and the orphans cover her up with the blankets. Once Miss Hannigan realizes she is gone, the other orphans express their frustration.
- WHAT:?Salem High School production
- WHEN:?7:30 p.m. Friday, April 11;
2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, April 12.
- WHERE:?Salem High School
- TICKETS: $10 for adults and $7 for
students and seniors. Tickets can be
purchased at the door. Seating is general admission.
- VISIT: More information, along with
photos of the cast and the rehearsals can be found at the show's website, SHSPLAYS.COM.
Annie successfully escapes though, running into a friendly stray dog. As she comforts him, she tells him of better days yet to come ("Tomorrow"). The dog catcher is after him, so she pretends he is hers by calling him Sandy. She later finds a Hooverville, where people made homeless by the Great Depression have come together as a community ("We'd Like To Thank You, Herbert Hoover"). However, a policeman named Lt. Ward (who had been sent by Miss Hannigan) catches Annie and brings her back.
Grace Farrell, (played by Chasity Kellogg) is the assistant to the billionaire Oliver Warbucks, who comes to the orphanage asking for an orphan to come to his mansion for the Christmas holiday. Because Annie was in Miss Hannigan's office, Grace asks to take her, and Miss Hannigan reluctantly agrees. Once she has left, Miss Hannigan explodes with her hatred for all the girls in the orphanage ("Little Girls").
Meanwhile, at the Warbucks Mansion, the staff welcomes Annie with open arms ("I Think I'm Gonna Like It Here"). When Oliver Warbucks comes back though, he is very moody and not too happy to have an orphan in his mansion. He asks Grace to take Annie to a movie, but she persuades him to come. As he and Annie begin to like each other, they enjoy a fabulous night in New York City ("N.Y.C.").
Back at the orphanage, Miss Hannigan's brother, Rooster, and his girlfriend, Lily, pay a visit. She mentions that Annie is staying at a billionaire's house, and they think they could use this situation to their advantage, though they do not yet know how ("Easy Street").
The play reaches a fun and climactic end to the first act. Then, at the start of Act 2, things really begin to heat up. Annie appears on the radio on a show by Bert Healy and the plot twists and turns, bringing a lot of nostalgia from the 1930's along with it.
The Salem High School student body presents 28 of its most talented performers in the rollicking version of "Annie," including another batch of 30 little "orphans" from the elementary school.
The additional cast of performers includes Makena Adams, Hobie Butcher, Teairra Coleman, Sidney Dailey, Lillian Eldridge, Teresa Faulkner, Julienna Fenton, Hannah Halstead, Heather Harmony, Tori Harmony, Joshlynn Irey, Emma Janofa, Chasity Kellogg, Mackenzie Kornbau, Rebecca Linam, Sterling Moffett, Ayla Mroczkowski, Mike Popa, Sophie Ramsey, Tyler Roth, Nick Rusyn, Grace Shockey, Max Skidmore, Karli Stith, Sophia Vigliotti, Mike Wertz, Hannah Whitcher, Cassie Wood, Brittany Zamarelli, Lauryn Barton, Taylor Brady, Kaylee Carlisle, Mercede Dennison, Riley Flickinger, Rachel Fowler, Sydney Freeman, Kailyn Galchick, Dana Griffith, Emma Griffith, Lainey Haas, Emma Hammers, Abby Hare, Ava Haueter, Matilda Henris, Olivia Hoffman, Samantha Howell, Emily Humphreys, Kelly Humphreys, Grace Johnson, Megan Miller, Jillian Pieren, Gabby Ripley, Melissa Short, Sarah Smith, Julia Stockton, Natalie Summers, Hayley Thompon, Ilani Wallace-Jones, and Adrianna Yorlano.
The New York Times estimates that "Annie" is produced 700 to 900 times each year in the United States. "Annie" had its world premiere on August 10, 1976 at the Goodspeed Opera House in East Haddam, Conn.
Michael P. Price was the executive director. Kristen Vigard was the first actress to play the title role. However, the producers soon decided that Vigard's genuinely sweet interpretation was not tough enough for the street-smart orphan. After a week of performances, Vigard was replaced by Andrea McArdle, who played one of the other orphans, Pepper. Vigard went on to become McArdle's Broadway understudy.
The original Broadway production opened at the Alvin Theatre on April 21, 1977 and starred Andrea McArdle as Annie, Reid Shelton as Daddy Warbucks, Dorothy Loudon as Miss Hannigan and Sandy Faison as Grace Farrell. Danielle Brisebois was one of the orphans.
It was nominated for 11 Tony Awards and won seven, including the Best Musical, Best Score, and Best Book. Replacements in the title role on Broadway included then-child actors Shelly Bruce, Sarah Jessica Parker, Allison Smith and Alyson Kirk. Replacements in the role of Miss Hannigan included Alice Ghostley, Dolores Wilson, Betty Hutton, Marcia Lewis, and June Havoc. Ann Ungar understudied and played for Dorothy Loudon in the role of Miss Hannigan. She also understudied Alice Ghostley and Dolores Wilson.
The show closed on Jan. 2, 1983 after a total of 2,377 performances, setting a record for the longest running show at the Alvin Theatre (now the Neil Simon Theatre), until it was surpassed by Hairspray in 2009.
During the Broadway run of "Annie" there were four touring companies that were launched from the original production to tour to major U.S. cities:
The 1st National Touring Company opened in Toronto in March 1978 with Kathy Jo Kelly as Annie, Norwood Smith as Daddy Warbucks, Jane Connell, Ruth Kobart as Miss Hannigan, and Gary Beachas Rooster. It played in Miami from April 12 to May 13, 1978 then continued for a few more cities until it landed in Chicago where it played for 32 weeks. In April 1979, it continued on the road in with Mary K. Lombardi now in the lead as Annie.
In the fall of 1980, Theda Stemler took over the part and was replaced in Boston when she grew too old. On May 15, 1981, Louanne Sirota, who had played Annie in the long-running Los Angeles production (see below), took over the role for four months. In August 1981, Becky Snyder became the company's last Annie closing the tour on Sept. 6, 1981.
The 2nd National Touring Company (sometimes referred to as the West Coast or Los Angeles Production) opened in San Francisco on June 22, 1978 with Patricia Ann Patts starring as Annie and the then-unknown Molly Ringwald as one of the orphans. The show landed in Los Angeles on Oct. 15, 1978 for an open-ended run at the Shubert Theatre. On June 12, 1979, Sirota, just 9 years old (up until that time, all Annies had been 11 years old), took over the role from Patts.
Marisa Morell took the role in December 1979, closing the Los Angeles run and continuing on tour with the show through December 1980. Kristi Coombs then played Annie until this touring company closed in Philadelphia on Jan. 23, 1982. Alyssa Milano played one of the orphans in 1981.
The 3rd National Touring Company opened in Dallas on Oct. 3, 1979 with Roseanne Sorrentino (who would later go on to portray Pepper in the 1982 film version) in the title role. This company toured to 23 cities playing mostly shorter runs of a month or less. On March 27, 1981, Bridget Walsh took over as Annie. Becky Snyder (who had closed the 1st National Tour) joined this company in the summer of 1982 and stayed with it until it closed in September of that year.
The 4th National Touring Company opened on Sept. 11, 1981 with Mollie Hall playing Annie. This production was a "bus and truck" tour, with a slightly reduced cast, that traveled the country and often played in two cities a week. This company was still touring when the original Broadway production closed in January 1983, making Kathleen Sisk the final performer to play Annie from the original production team. This tour closed in September 1983.
A 20th anniversary Broadway revival, which played at the Martin Beck Theatre (now called the Al Hirschfeld Theatre) in 1997, entitled "Annie the 20th Anniversary," starred Nell Carter as Miss Hannigan, but controversy surrounded the casting of the titular character. The original actress cast in the role, Joanna Pacitti, was fired and replaced by her understudy, Brittny Kissinger (who usually played orphan July) just two weeks before her Broadway debut, while battling bronchitis in Boston. The pre-Broadway Tour was playing the Colonial Theatre. "Annie" understudy and Swing Orphan Alexandra Keisman performed the role the first night Pacitti was absent. The producers then gave Kissinger the next performance. The show then moved on to the Oakdale in Connecticut where an insert was placed in the playbill claiming "The Role of Annie" is now being played by Brittny Kissinger.
Public sentiment seemed to side with Pacitti as she was the winner of a highly publicized contest to find a new Annie sponsored by the department store Macy's. This incident, coupled with the mixed reviews the new staging garnered, doomed it to a short run, although it was followed by a successful national tour. Kissinger, then 8, became the youngest actress to ever play Annie on Broadway.
More controversy surrounding the show involved Nell Carter. Carter reportedly was very upset when commercials promoting the show used a different actress, Marcia Lewis, a white actress, as Miss Hannigan. The producers claimed that the commercials, which were made during an earlier production, were too costly to reshoot. Carter felt that racism played a part in the decision. "Maybe they do not want audiences to know Nell Carter is black," she told the New York Post. However, the ads did mention that Carter was in the show. "It hurts a lot", Carter told the Post, "I've asked them nicely to stop it - it's insulting to me as a black woman."
Later reports stated that "Nell Carter of Broadway's "Annie" denied that she called her show's producers racist because they chose to air commercials featuring a previous Miss Hannigan instead of her.
Carter was later replaced by another white actress, Sally Struthers. The revival closed on Oct. 19, 1997 after 14 previews and 239 performances.
Starting in August 1999, the post Broadway National Tour continued with Meredith Ann Bull as Annie.
In the spring of 2000, Ashley Wieronski, who had been playing Duffy, moved up to play "Annie. In July 2000, Dana Benedict took over as the lead role.
Starting in August 2005, a 30th anniversary traveling production by Networks Tours embarked on a multi-city tour. This production was directed by Martin Charnin. For the first year of the tour, Conrad John Schuck played Daddy Warbucks, Alene Robertson was Miss Hannigan and Annie was played by Marissa O'Donnell.
Throughout the run of the show, there were a couple of replacements, including Amanda Balon, who took over as Molly. For the second year of the tour, Annie was played by Marissa O'Donnell again. This Equity Tour closed on March 25, 2007, at the Hippodrome Theatre in Baltimore, Maryland.
The 2007-2008 cast included Amanda Balon, returning as Annie, David Barton as Oliver Warbucks, Lynn Andrews as Miss Hannigan and Zander Meisner as Rooster.
The 2008-09 cast for the tour featured Tianna Stevens as Annie. Early in 2009, Amanda Balon returned temporarily to play the role of Annie until Madison Kerth was rehearsed to play the title role. Also returning were Barton, Andrews and Meisner.
In the 2009-10 tour, Kerth returned as Annie along with most of the previous year's cast, adding Jordan Boezem in the role of July.[
A 35th Anniversary production opened on Broadway in 2012.
Lilla Crawford stars as Annie with Katie Finneran as Miss Hannigan, and Anthony Warlow playing "Daddy" Warbucks. The revival started previews at the Palace Theatre on Oct. 3, 2012, and officially opened on Nov. 8, 2012 receiving mostly mixed reviews.
This production closed on Jan. 5, 2014, after 38 previews and 487 regular performances.
The original Broadway Cast recording was released in 1977. A CD containing bonus tracks was released on Sept. 15, 1998 by Sony. The 1998 London studio cast recording, featuring the National Symphony Orchestra, stars Sarah French as Annie, Kim Criswell as Miss Hannigan and Ron Raines as Daddy Warbucks.
A 30th anniversary cast recording was released in 2008 on TimeLife Records. An all-star cast of former "annie" cast members includes Carol Burnett, Sally Struthers, Kathie Lee Gifford, Andrea McArdle, John Schuck, Harve Presnell,Gary Beach and Amanda Balon. The rest of the cast is made up of the members of the 30th Anniversary Tour. This recording is a double CD set and includes the entire show as it is performed now on the first disc. The second one includes songs from the sequel as well as songs that were cut from or added to the original production.
The Columbia Pictures film was released in 1982, 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 newcomer Aileen Quinn as Annie.
A Royal Adventure! was made for television in 1995. It starred Ashley Johnson, Joan Collins, George Hearn, and Ian McDiarmid.
A made-for-TV Wonderful World of Disney movie version, produced by The Walt Disney Company, was broadcast in 1999.
A documentary film, "Life After Tomorrow," was directed and produced by one of the original Broadway and National Tour orphans, Julie Stevens and partner, Gil Cates Jr. It reunites more than 40 women who played orphans in the show and reveals the highs and lows of their experiences as child actresses in a cultural phenomenon. The film premiered on Showtime and was released on DVD in 2008.
In 2011, Will Smith announced plans for redux of "Annie." It began production in August 2013 and will be released on Dec. 19, 2014.
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