Annie's Sun Will Come Out One Day Earlier

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20 Feb 1997

Joanna Pacitti, in costume as Annie
Joanna Pacitti, in costume as Annie
Photo by Photo by Starla Smith

The 20th anniversary revival of Annie has changed its opening date from March 27 to March 26. Currently on tour, the musical will begin Martin Beck Theatre March 14 (a day later than the originally scheduled first preview.

The 20th anniversary revival of Annie has changed its opening date from March 27 to March 26. Currently on tour, the musical will begin Martin Beck Theatre March 14 (a day later than the originally scheduled first preview.

The revival stars Nell Carter, Joanna Pacitti and Conrad John Schuck (that's not a typo -- John Schuck recently added his father's name to his official stage name).

Carter won Tony, Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle and Obie Awards for her performance in Ain't Misbehavin'. She also appeared on Broadway in Don't Bother Me, I Can't Cope and Jesus Christ Superstar. Schuck played Daddy Warbucks on Broadway for more than a year, starting in 1981. He's best known for appearing in the film M*A*S*H and on TV in "McMillan And Wife." Pacitti has appeared at the Goodspeed Opera House and in The Wizard Of Oz at Walnut Street Theatre in her native Philadelphia.

Other cast members include Colleen Dunn (Grace), Jim Ryan (Rooster), Karen Byers-Blackwell (Lily) and Raymond Thorne (FDR). Thorne played Roosevelt in Annie's original Broadway production.



Production spokesperson Peter Cromarty told Playbill On-Line the show now boasts a 23-foot, onstage Christmas tree. Designed by Kenneth Foy, said shrub boasts 5,000 lights and 2,700 ornaments. Lighting for the show is by Ken Billington, costumes by Theoni V. Aldredge, musical direction by Keith Levenson, and orchestrations by Philip J. Lang.

Annie opened at Houston's Theatre Under The Stars Nov. 29, 1996. Here is the remaining schedule of Annie's pre-Broadway tour:
Hershey, PA: Feb. 17-23
Oakdale, CA: Feb. 24-March 2
Montreal, Canada: Mar. 3-9.
Broadway: Previews begin March 14; opens March 26 (Mertin Beck Theatre).

Production spokesperson Peter Cromarty told Playbill On-Line, Nov. 26, that sales for the show have been going "extraordinarily well, about 90 percent" -- especially considering the poor track record of such road shows this season as Funny Girl and Applause.

Even so, two house seats for the lavish production will be held at every performance in the name of Sandy, the show's famous pooch. "Sandy, played by Zappa," said Cromarty, "will have seats K-9 and K-11 at every show for his understudy, his owner, and any of his canine friends."

The original Annie, Andrea McArdle, helped choose the finalist for the title role at auditions Aug. 8, 1996 at Macy*s department store in New York City.

For more information on that event, please see Playbill On-Line's story, "Annie Revival Sets Broadway Dates And Theatres."

Set in New York City, 1933, Annie tells of an 11-year-old foundling left in the care of villainous Miss Hannigan. When rich Daddy Warbucks decides to entertain a child for the holidays, he grows to love Annie and wants to adopt her permanently -- but Annie still believes her parents will come back for her one day.

Songs, with lyrics by Martin Charnin and music by Charles Strouse, include "Tomorrow," "It's A Hard-Knock Life," "You're Never Fully Dressed Without A Smile," "I Don't Need Anything But You" and the title number. Thomas Meehan wrote the book, Peter Gennaro suppliles the choreography.

Aug. 8 was the date 20 years ago that Annie opened its pre Broadway engagement at the Goodspeed Opera House in Connecticut.

For tickets ($55-$75, $35 students) and information on the Broadway Annie, which is produced by Terri & Timothy Childs, Rodger Hess and Jujamcyn Theatres, call (212) 307-4100. Evening curtain times will be 7:30 PM to make the show more "family-friendly."