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BWW Reviews: ANNIE: IT'S THE HARD-KNOCK LIFE, FROM SCRIPT TO STAGE; Premiering on PBS, June 28

Related: From Script to Stage, PBS

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"I never thought I'd have a kid on Broadway" says Rachel Rosenfeld, mother of Emily, who plays Molly the orphan in PBS' Annie: IT'S THE HARD-KNOCK LIFE, FROM SCRIPT TO STAGE, which airs to the public in select parts of the country tomorrow night. The program opens with Emily riding in her car and a visit to her home where she is practicing for the enviable role. She was one of 5,000 children who auditioned for the Broadway revival.

The program shows copies of home videos taken by parents, who recorded the moments when they revealed to the aspiring orphans they got the roles. These scenes are real tear jerkers! These kids are in 7th heaven.

We join the kids in practice for their parts, where a speech coach teaches them the difference between a Bostonian version of the word "hard" and the New Yorker version. Each coach adds skills to help the children deal with 10-hour work days and the stresses of professional performance.

The grownup creative team expresses their fears about pulling the show together into a new presentation that has never been done before. For example, they want to throw out the buckets used by the orphans in the opening act, and provide a fresh set of props and unique staging. How about mopping a floor using an orphan as a mop?

Written 35 years ago, Annie has entertained the meek and great; the great include President Jimmy Carter, John Travolta, Sir Paul McCartney and Cassius Clay / Muhammad Ali. Instantly the winner of 7 Tony Awards, it retains its charm generation after generation.

This show should be required viewing material for every drama student! It's absolutely wonderful. Annie: It's the Hard Knock Life, From Script to Stage has its broadcast premiere on PBS 6/28/2013. Check local listings.


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Anton Anderssen Dr. Anton Anderssen is a cultural anthropologist, specializing in "high culture." Visit his web page at Hartforth.com. Anton is a member of several high IQ societies, including Mensa, Triple 9, ISPE and Prometheus. He has seasonal residency on the Italian Riviera, The Alps, Hawaii, Michigan and elsewhere world-wide covering cultural events. Dr. Anderssen's articles are included in the United States Library of Congress as part of their Official Performing Arts Historical Web Archives.



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