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VIDEO: ANNIE Leaps to the Stage at Flat Rock Playhouse

Leapin' lizards! For the very first time, America's favorite red headed orphan will be gracing the stage at Flat Rock Playhouse in the Broadway hit sensation, Annie. Do not miss what is considered one of the best family musicals ever written, running June 9th through July 2nd on the Flat Rock Playhouse Mainstage located in the Village of Flat Rock.

The cast & crew of Annie thinks "you're gonna like it here..." at the State Theatre of North Carolina! The Tony Award-winning musical, Annie, will make its debut and entertain audiences on the Flat Rock Playhouse Mainstage with its purely delightful and heartwarming tale of a plucky orphan who gets a second chance at a family. Premiering in 1976 at the Goodspeed Opera House, Annie became an instant classic. The role of Annie was originated on Broadway by Andrea McArdle, who went on to receive a Tony nomination for her performance. In its first year on Broadway, Annie received 7 Tony Awards and another 7 Drama Desk Awards. Annie has also seen 2 Broadway revivals and 3 film adaptations, the most recent in 2014. From the start, Annie has been an undeniable sensation that Flat Rock Playhouse is now proud to finally present with all of its legendary tunes including "It's the Hard Knock Life," "You're Never Fully Dressed Without a Smile," "I Think I'm Gonna Like It Here," and of course, "Tomorrow."

Annie stars Broadway's Carly Gendell in the title role of Annie. Gendell debuted on Broadway in Andrew Lloyd Webber's School of Rock as the original Marcy. This is Gendell's third time playing Annie and says, "[Annie is] a role that I have always felt deeply connected with." Gendell is only 12 years old, yet she has racked up quite the resume. She began acting when she was only 6 years old, and has played Young Fiona in Shrek the Musical, the Sour Kangaroo in Seussical, Gretl in The Sound of Music, Tinkerbell in Peter Pan, Gavroche in Les Miserables, and The Boy in The Velveteen Rabbit, just to name a few!

Gendell's canine counterpart is Macy playing the role of Sandy, who just recently completed the National Tour of Annie. Macy was trained by William Berloni, an American Animal Behaviorist and Humanitarian. He has received the 2011 Tony Honoree for Excellence in Theatre. Recipient of 2014, Outer Critics Circle Special Achievement Award and the 2017 Drama League Award for Unique Contribution to the Theater. Berloni found and trained the Original Sandy in Annie. Broadway Credits: Annie (Original Company, 20th, 30th and 35th Anniversary revivals), The Crucible, Living on Love, The Audience, Bullets Over Broadway, Lady Day at Emerson's Bar & Grill, A Christmas Story, Joe Turner's Come and Gone, Legally Blonde, Camelot, Frankenstein, The First, Alice in Wonderland, Oliver!, Anything Goes, Nick and Nora, La Bete, The Wiz, The Wizard of Oz, Dinner at Eight, Double Feature (New York City Ballet), Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, The Woman in White, Awake and Sing, and The Lieutenant of Inishmore.

Sean Cooper co-stars as Oliver "Daddy" Warbucks and Flat Rock favorite Marcy McGuigan returns to the Mainstage, this time, as the infamous Miss Hannigan. Joining Gendell, Cooper and McGuigan are Preston Dyar, Tim Ellis, MAddie Franke, Tauren Hagans, Lara Hayhurst, Michael MacCauley, Lindsay O'Neil, Stephen Sheffer, Peter Thomasson and Scott Treadway.

Annie also features a cast of local young actors alternating the roles of America's most beloved orphans, and members of the 2017 Apprentice Company performing in the ensemble.

Annie will be directed and choreographed by Amy Jones, director of last year's summer hit, 9 to 5: The Musical. Ethan Andersen will serve as Music Director, Bill Muñoz as Stage Manager, and Lindsey A. Moss as Assistant Stage Manager. Designers and Technical Staff also include Adam Goodrum as Production Manager, Chris Simpson as Technical Director, Dennis C. Maulden as Resident Scenic Designer, and Paul Feraldi as Props Master. Light, Sound, and Costumes will be designed by CJ Barnwell, Kurt Conway, and Ashli Arnold respectively.

The Executive Producers of Annie are Blue Ridge Humane Society, Asheville Regional Airport and Morris Broadband. Annie is also presented by The Flat Rock Playhouse Main Stage Series Sponsor, Henderson County Tourism Development Authority (, Opening Night Sponsor, BMW of Asheville, and Transportation Sponsor, Hunter Automotive Group.

Annie will run from June 9th through July 2nd at the Flat Rock Playhouse Mainstage. Performances Wednesday and Thursday evening at 7:30PM, Friday and Saturday evening at 8:00PM, matinees Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday at 2:00PM. Tickets are available for $15 - $50 and can be purchased by calling the Playhouse box office at 828-693-0731, toll-free at 866-737-8008 or online at Flat Rock Playhouse Mainstage is located at 2661 Greenville Hwy, Flat Rock, NC 28731.

In 1937, a group of struggling performers, led by Robroy Farquhar, organized themselves as the Vagabond Players. The Vagabonds worked in a variety of places over the course of three years, and in 1940 found themselves in the Blue Ridge region of Western North Carolina. The local and tourist community welcomed them with open arms when they presented their first summer season of plays in a 150-year-old grist mill they converted into The Old Mill Playhouse at Highland Lake. So successful was that summer, they returned in 1941. After WWII, the Vagabond Players reorganized, came back to the region and opened a playhouse in nearby Lake Summit. The Lake Summit Playhouse thrived during the post war years and soon the Vagabond Players were looking for a larger and permanent home. In 1952, the troupe of performers, and a newly formed board of directors, made an offer to buy an 8-acre lot in the Village of Flat Rock. This new home made the Vagabonds "locals" and a rented big top gave birth to Flat Rock Playhouse. As the beautiful Western Carolina region continued to grow, so did the Playhouse and in 1961, by Act of the North Carolina General Assembly, Flat Rock Playhouse was officially designated The State Theatre of North Carolina. What began as a few weeks of summer performances in 1940 is now a nine-month season of plays including Broadway musicals, comedy, drama, and theatre for young audiences. The Playhouse's dual mission of producing the performing arts and providing education in the performing arts includes a professional series; a summer and fall college apprentice and intern program; and Studio 52, year-round classes and workshops in theatre and film for students from kindergarten through adults. Flat Rock Playhouse now hosts over 98,000 patrons annually and is a significant contributor to the local economy and the Arts in North Carolina.

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