Casting Confirmed: TV Musical, 'Annie,' to Star Cumming, Chenoweth, McDonald & Garber

News   Casting Confirmed: TV Musical, 'Annie,' to Star Cumming, Chenoweth, McDonald & Garber
 
Producers of the new Disney-produced TV movie-musical, "Annie," are confirming now what had been previously talked about: Tony Award winners Alan Cumming, Audra McDonald and Kristin Chenoweth, and multiple Tony-nominee Victor Garber, will star with movie actress Kathy Bates in the TV musical, "Annie," filming this summer.

Producers of the new Disney-produced TV movie-musical, "Annie," are confirming now what had been previously talked about: Tony Award winners Alan Cumming, Audra McDonald and Kristin Chenoweth, and multiple Tony-nominee Victor Garber, will star with movie actress Kathy Bates in the TV musical, "Annie," filming this summer.

Chenoweth's Tony is still warm from the mint: She won a Best Featured Actress award June 6 for her role as Sally in You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown.

Walt Disney Telefilms confirmed the casting June 3. The TV movie, drawn from the 1977 Broadway smash, Annie, about Little Orphan Annie being adopted by billionaire Oliver Warbucks in the 1930s, will air on "The Wonderful World of Disney" in fall 1999.

Oscar-winner Kathy Bates, playing orphanage matron Miss Hannigan, will snarl at an Annie played by 11-year-old Alicia Morton, a recent young Cosette in Broadway's Les Miserables. Bates will sing a new song, written for the TV movie by the stage shows songwriters, composer Charles Strouse and lyricist Martin Charnin.

Cumming left the Broadway company of Cabaret June 6. (He won a Best Leading Actor Tony Award for the role in 1998.) Chenoweth's previous New York credits include Lincoln Center's A New Brain and Broadway's Steel Pier. McDonald is a multiple Tony Award-winner for Master Class, Carousel and Ragtime. Cumming will play Miss Hannigan's criminal brother, Rooster, Chenoweth will play Rooster's girlfriend, Lily, and McDonald will play Daddy Warbucks' personal assistant, Grace Farrell.

Garber, a Tony Award nominee for Deathtrap, Damn Yankees, Little Me and Lend Me a Tenor, will play bald-pated Daddy Warbucks. Garber previously played the King in the "Wonderful World of Disney" TV musical, "Cinderella," from the same producers as the upcoming "Annie."

Miss Hannigan, Rooster and girlfriend Lily are expected to sing what was a show stopper in the Broadway original: "Easy Street."

Filming for "Annie," under the direction of Rob Marshall (Roundabout's Little Me and Cabaret), is expected to begin June 22 in Los Angeles. This is Marshall's TV directorial debut, although he choreographed the recent TV "Cinderella."

Newly announced in the roles of Annie's orphan pals are Marissa Rago as Pepper, Danelle Wilson as Duffy, Nanea Miyata as July, Lalaine as Kate, Sarah Hyland as Molly and Erin Adams as Tessie. Adams was discovered in a nationwide open call audition.

-- By Kenneth Jones

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