"I'm begging James Lapine and Daryl Roth to consider me for Miss Hannigan in 2012 in Annie. It's been my dream to play Annie since it opened, to play in the show; I knew I couldn't be Annie, but I saw Dorothy Loudon do it when I was a kid and I would love to do that," the Broadway performer and talk show host told Playbill.com.
O'Donnell is set to return to daytime television with a new talk show on the Oprah Winfrey Network in 2011, and has informed the network that should her casting in Annie materialize, the network would have to accommodate her schedule. Network executives agreed to the deal, according to O'Donnell.
"Honestly, that would be the pinnacle of everything I ever imagined as a child," she continued. "But there are so many people more talented than me. Every morning I wake up and think, 'Oh, I forgot about Mary Testa, she'd be better. Oh, Beth Leavel, damnit. Oh, Christine Ebersole, oh crap!' Every day I think of somebody better, so I will not begrudge them if they cast someone else, but I'm letting them know I would like it."
Annie is aiming for a fall 2012 Broadway revival at a Nederlander theatre to be announced. Tony Award and Pulitzer Prize-winning director Lapine will direct the beloved musical based on the classic comic about a perky red-headed orphan and her nemesis, a booze-swindling orphanage matron. The upbeat musical has music by Charles Strouse, lyrics by Martin Charnin and book by Thomas Meehan.
Annie will be produced on Broadway by Arielle Tepper Madover, Roger Horchow, Sally Horchow, Roger Berlind, Jane Bergere, Roy Furman, Stacey Mindich, Daryl Roth and Nederlander Presentations, Inc. O'Donnell made her Broadway debut as Rizzo in the 1994 revival of Grease!, and appeared as the Cat in the Hat in the Ahrens-Flaherty musical Seussical. She last co-starred on Broadway with Tony Award winner Harvey Fierstein in the revival of Fiddler on the Roof. She was a producer of the short-lived Boy George musical Taboo.
O'Donnell is best known for her Emmy Award-winning talk show, which ran from 1996 to 2001. Her numerous screen appearances include "A League of Their Own," "Sleepless in Seattle" and "The Flintsones." O'Donnell also spent time as a co-host on ABC's "The View."