'Almost' ANNIE Actress Pacitti 'American Idol' Bound

By: Dec. 04, 2008
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The New York Post is reporting that "almost Annie" Joanna Pacitti is getting another shot at fame by joining the upcoming members of American Idol's Hollywood audition ticket holders. 

The Post reveals that last summer, Pacitti, now 24, turned up at the auditions for the top-rated Fox talent show in Louisville, Ky., and was given a ticket to go to Hollywood. Her vocal style has been described as a cross between Pat Benatar and Kelly Clarkson.

Yesterday, Fox officials would not confirm to the Post the names of any of the new "Idol" contestants going to Hollywood, but insiders said Pacitti will definitely be on the hit show.

Joanna Pacitti was just 11 years old when she was chosen to star in the 20th Anniversary revival of the musical Annie after entering a contest sponsored by the well known department store Macy's.

Pacitti starred in 106 performances with the National Tour, obtaining mixed reviews. Two weeks before the show was to land on Broadway, she became ill with bronchitis. She returned to find she had been replaced by her understudy. The firing became national news and generated a great deal of publicity. Even original 'Annie' Andrea McArdle came to her defense regarding her firing.

At the time some believed this was the intention of the producers in order to further promote the Broadway debut. Yet, Pacitti and her representatives also reached out for media coverage as the performer willingly appeared for interviews on ABC World News Tonight, Good Morning America, American Journal and Turning Point, and employed an entertainment public relations strategist to help her cause.

Her road since the Annie has been a rocky one as she struggled to make a name for herself as a recording artist. Having the exposure on American Idol can change a singers career in an instant.

Strouse wrote the 1977 show's Tony Award-winning score with Charnin.  Annie also features a Tony-winning book by Thomas Meehan.

Pacitti can also be seen in the Annie documentary, 'Annie: Life After Tomorrow'.

The film features the participation of "fans, agents, adult cast members and a new generation of Annie orphans," state press notes.  Steven and Cates, Jr. "spoke with over 40 women who played orphans in the show during its original run on Broadway, from 1977-1983. The film explores the life-changing repercussions of child performers in Annie as many orphan cast members revisit their experience in the show, their childhood, family support structure, what happened when they left the show and tried to resume a 'normal' childhood, and what they are doing today."

 Visit www.lifeaftertommorrow.com for more information.

Photo Credit: Cinema Skin