By Melissa Rose Bernardo
17 Nov 2012
Photo by Joan Marcus
Fun fact: Crawford has appeared in Annie previously — in another all-kids production. "I played Bert Healy, the radio announcer," she says. "It was really fun, 'cause I got to sing 'You're Never Fully Dressed Without a Smile.'"
"My first audition" — Crawford stops to think— "June  was my first audition for Annie. It was about a week or two when they told me that I got a callback. And after that I got another callback. And after that one, I had the dance callback. And after the dance callback, [laughs] I had another callback. Then after that callback it was the final callback." Lapine actually saw Crawford "very early on," he says, confessing, "I kind of fell in love" — but, he adds, no decisions were made until the very end.
If all that auditioning sounds arduous, trust her, it wasn't: Crawford describes the process as "really, really fun." Lapine's secret: "I make it fun for myself, and then it's usually fun for everybody else," he says. "What I really wanted to do was get to know the kids — just piddle around, play games, talk to them. I didn't 'direct' them. I tried to keep the audition on their level."
As for putting on the red wig, "I really like it," Crawford declares. "I mean, it's kind of like my hair now." She giggles again. "Yeah. I think I look cute."
(This feature appears in the November 2012 issue of Playbill magazine.)