-Courtesy of The Kimmel Cultural Campus
photo by Joan Marcus
Kimmel Cultural Campus and The Shubert Organization presentthe Broadway classic, Annie, at the Kimmel Cultural Campus’ Miller Theater from October 11 – 16, 2022. This production is part of the 2022-23 Broadway Series and the Kimmel’s Family Discovery Series.
Holding onto hope when times are tough can take an awful lot of determination, and sometimes, an awful lot of determination comes in a surprisingly small package. Little Orphan Annie has reminded generations of theatergoers that sunshine is always right around the corner, and now the best-loved musical of all time is set to return in this new production – just as you remember it and just when we need it most. This celebration of family, optimism, and the American spirit remains the ultimate cure for all the hard knocks life throws your way.
“Annie continues to entertain generations of theater-lovers and provides a beautiful example of hope in the midst of adversity,” said Matías Tarnopolsky, president and CEO of The Philadelphia Orchestra and Kimmel Center, Inc. “What a heartwarming story to kick off the first full season of programming in the recently renamed Miller Theater.”
TROIKA Entertainment’s COO and Executive Producer, Kori Prior says, “We’re thrilled to announce our talented new cast and stellar creative team, and we are all so excited to be bringing such a fresh, new and heartfelt production to audiences across North America starting this fall.”
“This show, with its iconic title character, continues to delight generations of theatre-lovers old and new by joyfully singing directly into the face of great adversity with perseverance, guts and guile,” said director Jenn Thompson. “For decades, Annie has continued to shine brightly, not only as an appeal to our better angels, but also as an example of the thrill of hope, hard-won: promising a better ‘Tomorrow’ not only for Annie herself, but for all who need her message now more than ever.”
By permission of Tribune Content Agency, LLC, Annie is based on Harold Gray’s popular comic strip “Little Orphan Annie”, which premiered in the 1920s in the New York Daily News and became one of the most widely read strips in the ’30s and ’40s. Lyricist-director Martin Charnin bought a coffee table book called The Life and Hard Times of Little Orphan Annie as a Christmas gift for a friend in 1970. The clerk at the bookstore was too busy to wrap the book, so Charnin took the book home to wrap it. Instead, he read it and fell in love with the strip and set out to secure the rights. The friend never got the book.
Hailed by the Chicago Tribune as, “one of the best family musicals ever penned!”, Annie features a book by Thomas Meehan, music by Charles Strouse and lyrics by Martin Charnin. All three authors received 1977 Tony Awards® for their work.
The original production of Annie had its world premiere on Aug 10, 1976, at the Goodspeed Opera House (Michael J. Price, Executive Director) and opened on Broadway on April 21, 1977 at the Alvin Theatre (Neil Simon Theatre). It went on to win the 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, Best Book (Thomas Meehan) and Best Score (Charles Strouse, Martin Charnin). It closed on Broadway after playing 2,377 performances.
Annie was revived on Broadway in 1997 and again in 2014. It has been made into a film three times (1982, 1999, 2014) and was most recently featured as a live television production on NBC. The show remains one of the biggest Broadway musical hits ever; it has been performed in 28 languages and has been running somewhere around the world for 45 years.
The beloved score for Annie includes “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 the eternal anthem of optimism, “Tomorrow.”
In the title role of Annie is Ellie Pulsifer, a 12-year-old actress from South Florida, making her tour debut. Christopher Swan will star as Oliver Warbucks. In the role of Miss Hannigan is Stefanie Londino. Also starring in the tour are Julia Nicole Hunter as Grace, Nick Bernardi as Rooster, Krista Curry as Lily, and Mark Woodard as FDR. Addison, a stray mutt rescued by Tony Award® Honoree William Berloni (Annie, A Christmas Story, Legally Blonde) through the Humane Society in 2017, stars as Sandy.
The Orphans are Riglee Ruth Bryson, Brianna Cameron, Bronte Harrison, Vivianne Neely, Kenzie Rees and Valeria Velasco.
The featured ensemble includes Kolten Bell, Bradley Ford Betros, Luther Brooks IV, Harrison Drake, Laura Elizabeth Flanagan, Jataria Heyward, Carly Ann Moore, Kevin Ivey Morrison, Leeanna Rubin, Andrew Scoggin, Sophie Stromberg and Kaley Were.
Annie is directed by Jenn Thompson, who at the age of 10 stepped into the role of “Pepper” in the Original Broadway production, choreographed by Patricia Wilcox (Motown, A Night with Janis Joplin), music supervised by Mona Seyed-Bolorforosh, with orchestrations by Dan DeLange. Talitha Fehr is the Music Coordinator and Elaine Davidson is the Music Director.
The design team includes scenic design by Wilson Chin (Pass Over), costume design by Alejo Vietti (Jersey Boys), lighting design by Philip Rosenberg, sound design by Ken Travis (Disney’s Aladdin), hair & wig design by Ashley Rae Callahan and casting by Paul Hardt of Hardt Casting, LLC.
Tickets can be purchased by calling 215-893-1999 or online at www.kimmelculturalcampus.org. In-person ticket sales can be conducted daily from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. at the Academy of Music Box Office, located at 240 S. Broad Street. See www.kimmelculturalcampus.org for more information.
FAMILY DISCOVERY SERIES
The 2022–23 Family Discovery Series returns for its 7th year with a lineup including kid-friendly favorites and re-envisioned family classics, curated to appeal to the littlest growing arts lovers. Click here for a full list of series programming. Family Discovery Series multi-show packages start at $18.00 per show. Single tickets to all Family Discovery Series shows are on sale now. Choose three or more shows from our spectacular Family Discovery Series and save 10 percent. This season’s Family Discovery Series is generously sponsored by Dietz & Watson.