STAGE TUBE: 'Today' Show Unveils Lilla Crawford as Broadway's Newest ANNIE!
After a multi-city coast-to-coast search that spanned nine months and over 5,000 auditions, ANNIE has found its Annie! Eleven-year-old Lilla Crawford will play the title role in the new production of the classic Tony Award®-winning Broadway musical, opening Fall, 2012 at a Nederlander theatre to be announced. The announcement was made on this morning's TODAY show on NBC. 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. "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 will be directed by three-time Tony Award winner James Lapine and choreographed by Tony Award winner Andy Blankenbuehler. ANNIE features music by Charles Strouse, lyrics by Martin Charnin and book by Thomas Meehan, based on the newspaper character "Little Orphan Annie" by Harold Gray.
The original production of ANNIE 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 was one of the biggest Broadway musical hits of the 1970s, running for almost six years and playing 2,377 performances.
The 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".
The award-winning creative team includes scenic design by David Korins, costume design by Susan Hilferty, lighting design by Donald Holder and sound design by 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.
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.
See the live announcement made on this morning's Today show below!
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