Eleven-year-old Lilla Crawford will play the title role in the new production of the Tony-winning musical, which will open this fall at a Nederlander theatre to be announced. The production will be directed by three-time Tony Award winner James Lapine and choreographed by Tony Award winner Andy Blankenbuehler.
“Oh, my gosh, it happened! My heart just stopped,” said Lilla Crawford, when she heard the news. “I thought it would be so cool just to be a part of Annie but to actually be playing Annie is a dream come true!”
“We fell in love with Lilla from the moment we saw her,” commented producer Arielle Tepper Madover in a statement. “When she is in the room you can’t take your eyes off her. She has a gorgeous voice, is a terrific actress, wonderful dancer and a sweet girl. She is everything that we could have ever hoped for in an Annie. We are so happy to have met her and think everyone will fall in love with her the way we did.”
Crawford made her Broadway debut in 2011, playing Debbie in the closing cast of Billy Elliot on Broadway. She was featured in a workshop production of Craig Wright’s Melissa Arctic. She has also performed in 14 shows with YADA (Youth Academy of Dramatic Arts) in her native Los Angeles.
Annie features music by Charles Strouse, lyrics by Martin Charnin and book by Thomas Meehan, who all won Tonys for the show in 1977. The new creative team includes scenic designer David Korins, costume designer Susan Hilferty, lighting designer Donald Holder and sound designer Brian Ronan. Music director is Todd Ellison. Hair and wig design is by Tom Watson. Casting is by Telsey + Company. Animal training is by Tony Award winner William Berloni (who shepherded the original production's mutt, "Sandy").
Annie will be produced on Broadway by Arielle Tepper Madover, Roger Horchow, Sally Horchow, Roger Berlind, Roy Furman, Debbie Bisno, Stacey Mindich, Nederlander Presentations, Inc., Daryl Roth/Jane Bergère and Eva Price/Christina Papagjika.
The original production opened April 21, 1977, at the Alvin Theatre and went on to win the New York Drama Critics Circle Award for Best Musical, seven Drama Desk Awards including Best Musical, the Grammy for Best Cast Show Album and seven Tony Awards, including Best Musical, Best Book (Thomas Meehan) and Best Score (Charles Strouse, Martin Charnin). The show played 2,377 performances.
The score includes the optimistic anthem "Tomorrow," plus "Maybe," "It's the Hard Knock Life," "You're Never Fully Dressed Without a Smile," "Easy Street," "I Don't Need Anything But You," "NYC" and more.
Group tickets for the new production of Annie are now on sale. Contact Nederlander Sales & Patron Services at (212) 840-3890 or (800) 714-8452 or email [email protected] for details.
Visit www.AnnieTheMusical.com and follow Annie on Twitter @AnnieOnBroadway and on Facebook.