Greg Ganakas and Linda Goodrich have been named, respectively, director and choreographer for the upcoming 25th anniversary production of Annie at Paper Mill: State Theatre of New Jersey.
Ganakas is currently represented at the Goodspeed Opera House with his production of Babes in Arms. For Goodspeed Musicals, he has also directed The Pajama Game, Brigadoon and George M! Ganakas also staged productions for Long Wharf Theatre, North Shore Music Theatre, American Musical Theatre of San Jose (Dean Goodman Award), Ordway Music Theatre, Sacramento Civic Light Opera and Sharon Stage.
Linda Goodrich choreographed the national tour of Singin’ in the Rain. She began her career re-creating the dances for a European tour of Cabaret after performing in the Broadway revival. She has choreographed several productions at the Music Theatre of Wichita, and her work has also been seen at Goodspeed Opera House, North Shore Music Theatre, Long Beach Civic Light Opera, Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera, and Sacramento Music Circus.
An open call will be held at the Paper Mill on Aug. 21 to find young girls to play Annie and her orphan friends. Casting for the lead role of Miss Hannigan has not been decided; Marcia Lewis played the role — originated on Broadway by Tony winner Dorothy Loudon — when Annie last played the Paper Mill.
Featuring a book by Thomas Meehan, music by Charles Strouse and lyrics by Martin Charnin, Annie will begin performances at the Paper Mill on Oct. 30 and will run through Dec. 8. Based on the famed comic-strip character who begins an orphan and ends up the daughter of a billionaire, the original Broadway production opened in April 1977 and made a star out of its first Annie, Andrea McArdle. The show won the Tony Award for Best Musical. Paper Mill: State Theatre of New Jersey is located on Brookside Drive in Millburn, NJ. For more information, go to www.papermill.org
—By Andrew Gans