|Photo by Joan Marcus|
Hosted by Al Roker, and produced by Al Roker Entertainment and Annie the Musical LLC, in partnership with Pedigree Food for Dogs, the half-hour show was seen in syndication earlier this fall.
In the program, Special Tony Award recipient Bill Berloni, the animal trainer, searches rescue shelters to find the next canine to play orphan Annie's furry sidekick. Berloni discovers Sunny, a two-year old Terrier mix and works to prepare the pooch for her stage debut. Lilla Crawford, who plays Annie at Broadway's Palace Theatre, is also featured.
Berloni, who earned his Tony honor for his work as Broadway's preeminent animal trainer, "searches shelters across the country to find just the right dog to become Broadway's newest Sandy," according to production notes. "Berloni discovered Broadway's first Sandy at a shelter in 1977 and has since been committed to finding all of his Broadway stars in local shelters."
(Spoiler alert! Berloni eventually discovers Sunny, a two-year-old terrier mix from the BARC Municipal Shelter in Houston, only 24 hours before she was scheduled to be put to sleep as an unwanted shelter dog.)