ANNIE Now Playing at Maltz Jupiter Theatre

The Maltz Jupiter Theatre is heading into the holidays with the perfect family musical for everyone on your list: Annie!

The Tony Award-winning sensation bursts onto the Theatre's stage December 3 - 22, directed and choreographed by Carbonell Award winner Mark Martino (The Music Man, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat and Crazy for You) and starring Carbonell winner and Broadway veteran Vicki Lewis as Miss Hannigan, seen recently in the Theatre's production of Hello, Dolly!

Complete with a stunning set, large orchestra and cast of 28 performers, Annie is packed with memorable Charles Strouse and Martin Charnin songs, including "Tomorrow," "Hard-Knock Life," "You're Never Fully Dressed Without a Smile" and "Maybe."

"With its knockout score and catchy lyrics, Annie is an example of musical theatre excellence at its finest," said Andrew Kato, the Theatre's producing artistic director. "Annie is both a large-scale song-and-dance extravaganza and a wonderfully uplifting story about two unlikely people finding each other. It will absolutely delight kids of all ages."

An American pop culture phenomenon inspired by the depression-era comic strip by Harold Gray, Annie follows the story of an optimistic orphan, Annie, who is terrorized by miserable orphanage matron Miss Hannigan. Annie finds a faithful companion in a stray dog, Sandy, and eventually an unlikely father in billionaire Oliver Warbucks, whose heart melts when he meets the spunky redhead.

"At the heart of it, Annie is a story about the innocence, resilience and courage of an 11-year-old who has been dealt a terrible hand in life, yet maintains a boundless optimism for a future full of sunny 'tomorrows,'" Martino said. "Annie reminds us of a simple, profound truth that most adults have forgotten; Oliver Warbucks may be the richest man in the world, yet all his money can't possibly buy the greatest treasures of all - love and family."

Annie originally opened on Broadway in 1977. Written by Thomas Meehan, the adventure-filled musical won seven Tony Awards (including Best Musical) and shattered all previous box office records at the Alvin Theatre by running for nearly six years. It inspired a 1982 film, a 1999 TV special, two Broadway revivals and countless productions across the world, with former cast members that include stars such as Carol Burnett, Sarah Jessica Parker, Andrea McArdle, Nell Carter, Molly Ringwald and local resident and Broadway veteran Gary Beach.

"Of the canon of musicals licensed throughout the country, Annie is one of the top five musicals of all time," said Maltz Jupiter Theatre board member Rodger Hess, who produced the 20th anniversary Broadway revival of Annie in 1997 and the recent national tour.

The production stars Clara Young, 10, as Annie (national tour of How the Grinch Stole Christmas) and Broadway veteran Christopher Carl as Oliver Warbucks (Tarzan, South Pacific and Mamma Mia). The production also features 12 local children (six cast members and six understudies) as the orphans, cast through the Theatre's annual First Step to Stardom auditions. A host of familiar faces also return to the Theatre's stage, including local actors Irene Adjan, Mary Elizabeth Rich, Barry Tarallo and more.

The production also stars Macy the dog as Sandy, a rescue dog trained by renowned Broadway animal trainer Bill Berloni. Macy has starred in over a dozen productions of Annie nationally, and on Thanksgiving Day 2011, she was seen on NBC during The National Dog Show. Actor Schuyler Beeman serves as Macy's handler during the Theatre's production.

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