ANNIE Extends At The Olney Theater Center Thru 1/9

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ANNIE Extends At The Olney Theater Center Thru 1/9

Leapin' Lizards! Annie has been extended at Olney Theatre Center to Sunday, January 9. The Washington Post calls the Helen Hayes recommended production "expansive and confident...as snappy a musical as Olney has ever presented." DC Theatre Scene declares the cast "unbelievably good."

Annie plays the Mainstage now through January 9. Tickets start at $26, with discounts available to groups, seniors, military, and students. Call the Box Office at 301.924.3400 or visit olneytheatre.org for tickets and information. Please see the attached Fact Sheet for more details and extension week performances.

The original Broadway production of Annie won seven 1977 Tony Awards, including Best Musical, Book, and Score. It ran for 2,377 performances, and has subsequently been produced worldwide. The original production is one of the top 25 longest running shows in Broadway history, and Annie continues to be one of the most successful musicals ever.

Boasting one of Broadway's most memorable scores, including "It's A Hard-Knock Life," "Easy Street," "N.Y.C.," and the ever optimistic "Tomorrow," Annie was written by Thomas Meehan, with music by Charles Strouse and lyrics by Martin Charnin.

The musical tells the story of Annie, an orphan, and her dog Sandy, who are placed in the lap of luxury for a week as a part of a publicity campaign for Oliver Warbucks. However, Annie's stay turns out to be much more than anyone had bargained for as she works her way into everyone's hearts and learns a few things for herself.

The musical Annie is based on the cartoon Little Orphan Annie, originally created in 1924 by Harold Grey. The comic strip was one of the first to use long-running storylines. At its peak, it appeared in hundreds of newspapers. During the 1945 newspaper deliverymen's strike in New York City, the mayor read Annie's adventures over the radio, so as not to disappoint her followers. Annie outlived Grey, and only recently was retired from the funny pages this past June.

Olney's cast of 29 features Caitlin Deerin as the spunky Annie and George Dvorsky as her benefactor and friend Daddy Warbucks, both making their Olney Theatre Center debuts. Channez McQuay takes a turn as misguided Miss Hannigan, while Bobby Smith, who recently directed Forever Plaid at Olney, plays her outrageous brother Rooster. Last seen on Olney's stage in Camelot, Carrie A. Johnson portrays Grace Farrell, Daddy Warbucks' right hand gal.

The remainder of the cast for Annie is included in the Fact Sheet below. Each of the orphans' roles are shared by two actors; the role of Sandy is shared by two dogs.

Mark Waldrop returns to Olney to direct this production of Annie. Waldrop directed Olney's successful adaptation of Rogers and Hammerstein's Cinderella. He directed Bette Midler's 1999 Divine Miss Millennium tour as well as Bea Arthur on Broadway: Just Between Friends (2002 Tony Award nomination, Special Theatrical Event). His off-Broadway credits include Howard Crabtree's When Pigs Fly (1997 Drama Desk and Outer Critic's Circle Awards, OBIE), My Deah, Game Show, Pete 'n' Keely, Listen to My Heart, and Whatnot (Richard Rodgers Production Award).

Musical direction for Annie is by Christopher Youstra, with choreography by Tara Jeanne Vallee. Original costume design is by Theoni V. Aldredge, and original set design is by Ming Cho Lee. The creative team includes Charlie Morrison (Lighting Design), Christopher Baine (Sound Design), Anne Nesmith (Wig Design), and Renee E. Yancey (Stage Manager).

Principal Cast Biographies

Caitlin Deerin (Annie) is pleased to debut at Olney Theatre Center in Annie! Caitlin has performed locally as Annie in Annie and Oliver! (Toby's) as well as Honk! and Beauty and the Beast (MTC). A sixth grader at Loiederman Middle School for Creative & Performing Arts, Caitlin also enjoys studying voice with Rosie Dyer, dance at the Olney Studio, and piano.

George Dvorsky (Daddy Warbucks) recently starred as Billy Flynn in Chicago at the Ogunquit Playhouse. Prior to that he starred in the revival of Closer Than Ever. He played Baron Bomburst /Lord Scrumptious Sin the National Tour of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. Broadway credits include the title role in The Scarlet Pimpernel and Henry Spofford in the revival of Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. Other Broadway credits: the Tony Award-winning Passion, Marilyn: An American Fable, and The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas. Off-Broadway: Pete Bartel in Pete 'N' Keely, the revival of Dames at Sea, and And the World Goes 'Round. George starred in the N.Y.C. premiere of Rodgers and Hammerstein's Cinderella as Prince Charming at Lincoln Center, where he also played Tommy in Brigadoon. He also starred as Billy Crocker opposite Chita Rivera in Anything Goes at the Paper Mill Playhouse. George has performed with symphonies all over the globe including Iceland, Hong Kong, Sweden, and Italy. He was featured in PBS' Emmy-winning Passion: Live at Lincoln Center starring Patti LuPone, and starred with Bea Arthur and the Boston Pops in Bernstein's Broadway, also on PBS. His solo CD, In the Still of the Night, is available on the JAY Records label. www.georgedvorsky.net

Channez McQuay (Miss Hannigan) Olney Theatre Center: Jacques Brel..., Rodgers and Hammerstein's Cinderella (Joy), The Doll Maker's Dilemma (Gertrude); Signature Theatre: Sweeney Todd (Beggar Woman), See What I Wanna See (The Medium and Aunt Monica), Les Misérables (Helen Hayes Award, Best Ensemble), Kiss of the Spider Woman (Molina's Mother), Into the Woods (Stepmother), My Fair Lady (Mrs. Eynsford-Hill), Nevermore (Muddy), Pacific Overtures (Ensemble); Ford's: Meet John Doe (Betty); Studio: The Adding Machine (Quartet), The Gifts of the Magi (City Her), Reefer Madness (Mae), Oil City Symphony (Ginger); Rep Stage: Falsettos (Charlotte); Toby's: Ragtime (Emma, Helen Hayes nomination), Gypsy (Rose), Funny Girl (Fanny), Little Shop of Horrors (Audrey), Fiddler on the Roof (Golde), Pippin (Berthe), Beauty and the Beast (Mrs. Potts).

Carrie A. Johnson (Grace Farrell) Broadway Tours: Les Misérables, The Producers. N.Y.C.: Ever After, Pamela's First Musical, Soar Like An Eagle. Regional: Ragtime, Broadway: 3 Generations (Kennedy Center); Chess (Florence-N.C. Theatre); The Happy Time (Laurie-Signature Theatre - Helen Hayes Nominee); Camelot (Olney Theatre Center); I Love A Piano (Denver Center); Saving Aimee (Signature Theatre); Crazy For You (Arvada Center); The Secret Garden (Carousel DT). Other favorites: Songs for a New World, Guys and Dolls (Sarah Brown), WSS (Maria), Into the Woods (Baker's Wife). CJ has also performed at Carnegie Hall several times as both a flautist and vocalist under the direction of John Rutter and Dr. Virginia Jean Rittenhouse. She has received national acclaim with her a cappella musical arrangements and also arranges and develops shows for cruise ships. She carries a Music Ed. degree from the University of Illinois. AEA member.

Bobby Smith (Rooster Hannigan) has appeared on Broadway in Crazy for You. Off Broadway: Forever Plaid (original cast), Kander and Ebb's The World Goes 'Round, and the revival of George Gershwin's Of Thee I Sing. National tours include Brigadoon and The World Goes 'Round. As an actor and director, he has worked at The Kennedy Center, Old Globe Theatre, Shakespeare Theatre, Olney Theatre Center, Theatre J, Imagination Stage, Barter Theatre, Denver Center Theatre Company, Alley Theatre, Philadelphia Theatre Company, Mill Mountain Theatre, TheatreVirginia, Company of Fools, and Center Stage in Baltimore. Washington, D.C. area: Studio Theatre: A Class Act, The Long Christmas Ride Home, Caroline or Change, Grey Gardens, Studio 2ndStage, Reefer Madness, Jerry Springer - The Opera; Ford's Theatre: Elmer Gantry; Round House Theatre: A Year with Frog and Toad; MetroStage: Girl in a Goldfish Bowl, Musical of Musicals; The Kennedy Center: The Happy Prince, The Flea and the Professor; Signature Theatre: See What I Wanna See, Showboat. He has performed with The Richmond Symphony under the direction of George Manahan, The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Jack Everly Conductor and can be heard on recordings of Ben Bagley's Rogers and Hart Revisited and Resnois' Gershwin. Mr. Smith has received seven Helen Hayes nominations for excellence in Washington theater.

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