“Leapin’ lizards!” Crossroads Live announces casting for the 2023-24 North American tour of “Annie.” The show will be coming to Buffalo for eight performances, Dec. 18-23, at Shea’s Buffalo Theatre. Sponsored by Gallagher.
Get tickets here: https://www.sheas.org/performances/annie/ or visit Shea’s box office, 650 Main St., Buffalo.
In the title role of Annie is Rainier “Rainey” Treviño, an 11-year-old from Chesapeake, Virginia, making her national tour debut. Returning principal cast includes Stefanie Londino as Miss Hannigan, Christopher Swan as Oliver Warbucks, Julia Nicole Hunter as Grace, and Mark Woodard as FDR. Also starring in the tour are Jeffrey T. Kelly as Rooster and Samantha Stevens as Lily. Georgie, rescued by William Berloni, stars as Sandy.
The orphans are Savannah Austin, Arianna Guller, Avery Hope, Addie Jaymes, Kylie Noelle Patterson and Jade Smith.
The featured ensemble includes Jerquintez A. Gipson, Caroline Glazier, Chance K. Ingalls, Kaleb Jenkins, Jaelle Laguerre, Tony Mowatt, Nick Traficante, Kaylie Mae Wallace, Callie Alexa, Brooke Olivia Gatto and Trent Tyson.
“This show, with its iconic title character, continues to delight generations of theater-lovers old and new by joyfully singing directly into the face of great adversity with perseverance, guts and guile,” director Jenn Thompson said. “For decades, ‘Annie’ has continued to shine brightly, not only as an appeal to our better angels, but also as an example of the thrill of hope, hard-won: promising a better ‘Tomorrow’ not only for Annie herself, but for all who need her message now more than ever.”
“Annie” is directed by Jenn Thompson, who, at the age of 10, stepped into the role of “Pepper” in the original Broadway production, choreographed by Patricia Wilcox (“Motown,” “A Night with Janis Joplin”), with orchestrations by Dan DeLange. Talitha Fehr is the music coordinator and Jennifer Christina is the music director.
The design team includes scenic design by Wilson Chin (“Pass Over”), costume design by Alejo Vietti (“Jersey Boys”), based on lighting design by Philip Rosenberg, sound design by Ken Travis (“Disney’s Aladdin”), hair and wig design by Ashley Rae Callahan and casting by Paul Hardt of Hardt Casting.
The lovable mutt Sandy is once again trained by Tony Award honoree William Berloni (“Annie,” “A Christmas Story,” “Legally Blonde”).
Holding onto hope when times are tough can take an awful lot of determination, and sometimes, an awful lot of determination comes in a surprisingly small package. Little Orphan Annie has reminded generations of theatergoers that sunshine is always right around the corner, and now the best-loved musical of all time is set to return in this new production – just as you remember it and just when we need it most. This celebration of family, optimism and the American spirit remains the ultimate cure for all the hard knocks life throws your way.
Hailed by the Chicago Tribune as, “one of the best family musicals ever penned!” “Annie” features the book by Thomas Meehan, music by Charles Strouse and lyrics by Martin Charnin. All three authors received 1977 Tony Awards for their work.
By permission of Tribune Content Agency, “Annie” is based on Harold Gray's popular comic strip “Little Orphan Annie,” which premiered in the 1920s in the New York Daily News and became one of the most widely read strips in the ’30s and ’40s. Lyricist-director Martin Charnin bought a coffee table book called “The Life and Hard Times of Little Orphan Annie” as a Christmas gift for a friend in 1970. The clerk at the bookstore was too busy to wrap the book, so Charnin took the book home to wrap it. Instead, he read it and fell in love with the strip and set out to secure the rights. The friend never got the book.
The original production “Annie” had its world premiere on Aug. 10, 1976, at the Goodspeed Opera House (Michael J. Price, executive director) and opened on Broadway on April 21, 1977, at the Alvin Theatre (Neil Simon Theatre). It 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). It closed on Broadway after playing 2,377 performances. “Annie” was revived on Broadway in 1997 and again in 2014. It has been made into a film three times (1982, 1999, 2014) and was most recently featured as a live television production on NBC. The show remains one of the biggest Broadway musical hits ever; it has been performed in 28 languages and has been running somewhere around the world for 37 years.
The beloved score for ”Annie” includes “Maybe,” “It’s the Hard Knock Life,” “You’re Never Fully Dressed Without a Smile,” “Easy Street,” “I Don’t Need Anything But You” and the eternal anthem of optimism, “Tomorrow.”
This production of “Annie” was licensed by Music Theatre International.