ANNIE Announces Cast for March Premier


Theatre Under The Stars (TUTS) has announced the cast that will lead their production of ANNIE, running March 20 – April 1 at the Hobby Center for The Performing Arts.

Leading the cast as the spunky, adorable orphan is Sadie Sink. Sink, a resident of Brenham, TX, appeared as Susan Waverly in TUTS' recent holiday show White Christmas. She attends First Baptist Church School in Brenham, TX and is a student at TUTS' Humphreys School of Musical Theatre.

Staring as the lovable tycoon Oliver Warbucks is George Dvorsky. A familiar face at TUTS, Dvorsky has acted in several productions including the recent shows A Wonderful Life and The Sound Of Music. On Broadway, he appeared in the title role of The Scarlet Pimpernel and in the revival of Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. His other Broadway credits include the Tony Award–winning Passion, as well as Marilyn: An American Fable and The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas.

The comically conniving Miss Hannigan will be performed by Michele Ragusa. Her previous theatre experience includes Broadway's Young Frankenstein, Urinetown, A Class Act, Titanic, Cyrano, and Ragtime as well as the national tours of West Side Story, Nunsense II and Fiddler On The Roof. Michele is the recipient of the Barrymore Award and received Lucille Lortel and Drama League nominations for her work in Christopher Durang and Peter Melnick's Adrift In Macau.

Grace Farrell, Warbucks' personal assistant, will be portrayed by Glory Crampton. Crampton has appeared in previous TUTS productions like Phantom, My Fair Lady, and Hello, Dolly!. An accomplished singer who has performed with the likes of Jose Carreras from The Three Tenors, Crampton has played in several off-Broadway shows such as Death Takes A Holiday and Carnival.

Hannigan's scheming brother Rooster will be played by Dave Schoonover, whose credits include the national tour of Cats. Rooster's girlfriend and accomplice Lily will be played by Brandi Wooten. Wooten last appeared on the TUTS stage in A Chorus Line. She also has earned accolades from her work on Broadway in 9 to 5: The Musical and Monty Python's Spamalot.

Appearing as Franklin D. Roosevelt will be Tom Treadwell, who played in TUTS' last production of Annie as well as in the Broadway revival of Annie. He has also toured nationally with Ragtime, Cats and Company. Treadwell's other credits include several off-Broadway productions like The Last Starfighter, Miss Liberty and Meet Me In St. Louis as well as many television and film appearances.

Making an appearance as Sandy will be Macy. Dog trainer Bill Berloni was brought into the fold to train Macy for her role as Sandy. In addition to his work as a trainer, Bill is currently behavior consultant to the Humane Society of New York. He also holds a BFA in theatre, is a published author and actor, and is the 2011 recipient of the Tony Honor for Excellence in Theatre. In reflection of his 30 years of developing animals into trained actors, Berloni published his book, Broadway Tails, in 2008 as a collection of heartfelt stories of rescued dogs who became showbiz superstars.

Annie's friends in the orphanage will be played by students from TUTS' Humphreys School of Musical Theatre. Appearing as lead orphans are Margarite Durning (July), Megan McGuff (Pepper), Mandy Miller (Kate), Elise Shoss (Duffy), Jacqueline Touchet (Tessie), and Mara-Catherine Wissinger (Molly). The remaining ensemble of orphans includes Mallory Bechtel, Maddie Dyer, Raiya Goodman, Elyssa Kim, Miho Maeda, Savannah May, Abigail Moorhead, Lauren Santana, and Katja Yanko.

Other members of the cast include J. David Anderson, Bill Bateman, Caitlin Cannon, Christopher Carothers, Tess Ferrel, Danny Gardner, Dustin J. Harder, Rod Roberts, Susan Shofner, Roger Preston Smith, Dorothy Stanley, Michael Tapley, Erin Wasmund, and Nikol Wolf.

Annie is based on the popular Harold Gray comic strip "Little Orphan Annie." The show features a book by Thomas Meehan, music by Charles Strouse, and lyrics by Martin Charnin.

Annie will be directed by Mark Waldrop. Waldrop's previous work on stage includes Broadway's La Cage Aux Folles, Evita and the revival of Hello, Dolly!. He boasts two Drama Desk Awards for his work with Howard Crabtree's When Pigs Fly. Annie also features the work of choreographer Tara Jeanne Vallee. As a performer, Vallee is a two time World Tap Champion and performed at the Town Hall in the NY Tap Extravaganza honoring Gregory Hines. She has danced in national tours of The Music Man, My Fair Lady, and Footloose. Her choreography was seen on Broadway in Cirque Dreams Jungle Fantasy after 2 years of a successful national tour.

Joining them on the creative team is musical director and conductor Eddy Robinson. Also lending their talents to the creative team are longtime TUTS colleagues sound designer Kit Bond, lighting designer Richard Winkler and assistant lighting designer Paul Hudson.

Tickets and more information: and (713) 558-TUTS (8887).

Photo credit: Claire McAdams

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