The search for the perfect little orphan "Annie," was conducted online and on the road as producers auditioned thousands of girls to take on the role made famous by Andrea McArdle. Eleven-year-old Lilla Crawford impressed the producers with her performing chops that were honed as a cast member of Billy Elliot the Musical.
No less attention to detail was paid to "Annie's" friends and fellow orphans. To withstand the rigors of a Broadway performing schedule, the "Orphans" had to be every bit as good as the title role prodigy belter. Emily Rosenfeld will play "Molly," the littlest orphan, with Tyrah Skye Odoms playing "Kate," the next-to-littlest orphan. Junah Jang will appear as "Tessie," the cry-baby orphan, while Georgi James plays "Pepper," the toughest orphan. Madi Rae DiPietro plays "July," the quietest orphan, and Taylor Richardson towers as "Duffy," the biggest orphan. Jaidyn Young will be the standby for several of these roles including "Annie," "Pepper," "Duffy," and "July." Richardson will understudy the title role of "Annie."
The role of orphanage headmistress and eternal curmudgeon, "Miss Hannigan," will be played by two-time Tony Award winning actress Katie Finneran of Promises, Promises and Noises Off.
The score for Annie includes well-known songs such as “Maybe,” “It’s the Hard Knock Life,” “You’re Never Fully Dressed Without a Smile,” “Easy Street,” “I Don’t Need Anything But You,” and one of the most popular songs for young girls in the Musical Theatre canon, "Tomorrow.”
The creative team of the 2012 Broadway revival of Annie includes Drama Desk Award-winning Scenic Designer David Korins, Tony Award-winning Costume Designer Susan Hilferty, two-time Tony Award-winning Lighting Designer Donald Holder, and Tony Award-winning Sound Designer Brian Ronan. The Music Director is Todd Ellison, with Hair and wig design is by Tom Watson. Animal training for "Sandy" is by Tony Award-winner William Berloni.
The 2012 Annie will be produced on Broadway by Arielle Tepper Madover, Roger Horchow, Sally Horchow, Roger Berlind, Roy Furman, Debbie Bisno, Stacey Mindich, Nederlander Presentations, Inc., Jane Bergère/Daryl Roth and Eva Price/Christina Papagjika.
The original production of Annie opened April 21, 1977, at the Alvin Theatre and won numerous awards that year including New York Drama Critics Circle Award for Best Musical, seven Drama Desk Awards including Best Musical, the Grammy for Best Cast Show Album, and seven Tony Awards, including Best Musical of the season, Best Book of a Musical for Thomas Meehan, and Best Score of a Musical for Charles Strouse and Martin Charnin.
The original Broadway production of Annie was one of the top Broadway musicals of the 1970's, running for almost six years and playing 2,377 performances.
The show spawned several filmed versions including the 1982 film starring Carol Burnett as "Miss Hannigan," Albert Finney as "Daddy Warbucks," Tony Award-winning Choreographer Ann Reinking as "Grace Farrell," Tim Curry as "Rooster Hannigan," and Tony Award-winning actress Bernadette Peters as "Lily St. Regis," with Aileen Quinn as "Annie."
In 1999, director/choreographer Rob Marshall, of Chicago, Memoirs of a Geisha, and Nine, helmed a new film version of Annie. This TV film version was headlined by an all-star Broadway line-up of Tony Award winners including Kathy Bates as "Miss Hannigan," Victor Garber as "Daddy Warbucks," Audra McDonald as "Grace Farrell," Kristin Chenoweth as "Lily St. Regis" and Alan Cumming as "Rooster Hannigan." The original Broadway "Annie," Andrea McArdle made a cameo appearance as "Star-to-Be."