Annie, With Lilla Crawford, Katie Finneran and Anthony Warlow, Opens on Broadway

By Kenneth Jones
08 Nov 2012

Anthony Warlow
Photo by Joan Marcus

Annie is choreographed by Tony Award winner Andy Blankenbuehler (In the Heights, Bring It On: The Musical). Blankenbuehler is known for his fiery modern choreography (he won the Tony for In the Heights), but he said a "period" show like Annie is what he came of age on: "A lot of people don't know: I never did anything like In the Heights or Bring It On until In the Heights and Bring It On," he told "I grew up doing shows like Annie. As a performer, I always did traditional musical theatre. So, I had to learn things new for those shows. So this has been great going back to my roots. Working on contemporary shows opens your eyes to breaking rules, which is good because sometimes when you do traditional shows, you go down a predictable avenue. I'd like to think this Annie will have a little of both worlds in terms of contemporary sensibilities but traditional feel."

The creative team includes scenic designer David Korins, Tony-winning costume designer Susan Hilferty, Tony-winning lighting designer Donald Holder and Tony-winning sound designer Brian Ronan. Projection design is by Wendall K. Harrington.

Music director is Todd Ellison. Orchestrations are by Michael Starobin, a longtime collaborator of Tony winner Lapine on such shows as Falsettos, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, Sunday in the Park With George and Sondheim on Sondheim. Dance music arrangements are by Alex Lacamoire (In the Heights). Musical coordinator is Patrick Vaccariello. Hair and wig design is by Tom Watson. Casting is by Telsey + Company.

Animal training is by William Berloni, who was the trainer of the original production's "Sandy," and trainer of many future tours and first-class runs.

Sandy is being played by Sunny, a two-year-old terrier mix who was discovered by animal trainer Berloni at the BARC Municipal Animal Shelter in Houston, TX, only 24 hours before she was scheduled to be put to sleep as an unwanted shelter dog. Casey, a one-year-old terrier mix, is the Sandy understudy. She was found at the Maury County Animal Shelter in Nashville, TN. She was also scheduled to be euthanized before a last-minute reprieve.

Annie is being produced on Broadway by Arielle Tepper Madover, Roger Horchow, Sally Horchow, Roger Berlind, Roy Furman, Debbie Bisno, Stacey Mindich, Nederlander Presentations, Inc., Jane Bergère, Daryl Roth and Eva Price/Christina Papagjika.

The original production of Annie opened April 21, 1977, at the Alvin Theatre. Dorothy Loudon won the Best Actress Tony for playing Miss Hannigan. (Her competition in the category was Andrea McArdle, who played the title star.) The musical also won Tonys for Costume Design, Scenic Design and Choreography. Lyricist Charnin was also nominated for his Direction, but had to settle for the Best Score win.

The original Annie ran 2,377 performances and spawned many tours, and inspired a 1982 Hollywood movie starring Carol Burnett as Hannigan, Aileen Quinn as Annie and Albert Finney as Warbucks, and a later 1999 TV movie starring Kathy Bates as Hannigan, Victor Garber as Warbucks and Audra McDonald as Grace. Rob Marshall directed the TV film, and it essentially launched his moving-picture career.

This is Annie's second Broadway revival. Charnin directed a 1997 production starring Nell Carter as Miss Hannigan (she was even given a new song). It ran only seven months.

For more about the new Broadway production, visit