The news leaked late in the week, and producers finally went public, reluctantly revealing their ace casting on the Friday before a holiday weekend. The Tony Award-winning musical based on the comic strip "Little Orphan Annie" opens Nov. 8 at the Palace Theatre (1567 Broadway at 47th Street). Previews begin Oct. 3.
Finneran, who is beloved by New York audiences and critics for her daffy turns as bimbos on Broadway, said in a statement, "Miss Hannigan is one of the great musical comedy roles and I cannot wait to play her, in all of her deliciously evil glory. I played Hannigan in my parents' living room when I was eight years old and the chance to play her in this new Broadway production is a dream come true."
Annie, the 1977 hit that inspired generations of young theatregoers, has music by Charles Strouse, lyrics by Martin Charnin and book by Thomas Meehan. The new production is directed by three-time Tony Award winner James Lapine and choreographed by Tony Award winner Andy Blankenbuehler.
Finneran received Tony, Drama Desk, and Outer Critics Circle Awards for her performance as Marge in the recent Broadway revival of Promises, Promises, as well as Tony, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Awards for her performance in the Broadway revival of Noises Off (she was fleshy Brooke). Finneran was last seen on stage in the New York Philharmonic's production of Company. Her previous Broadway credits include Mauritius, Cabaret, The Iceman Cometh, Neil Simon's Proposals, The Heiress, In the Summer House, My Favorite Year, Two Shakespearean Actors and On Borrowed Time. On television, Finneran starred this past season on Fox's series "I Hate My Teenage Daughter."
As previously announced, 11-year-old Lilla Crawford (Billy Elliot) will play Annie. Complete casting for Annie — including who'll play Daddy Warbucks, the billionaire who seeks to adopt the title orphan — will be announced later. Read more about the new production here.