July 7-9 & 13-16, 2011
Directed by Paul J. Hustoles
Music Direction by Nick Wayne
Scenic Design by Allen Wright Shannon
Costume Design by Nicole Pullaro
Lighting Design by Steven Smith
Sound Design by George E. Grubb
Mr. Warbucks (Mathias Becker) sings to convince Annie (Riley Means) that he
really wants to be her "Daddy," as his assistant, Grace Farrell (Morgan Mallory),
hopes for a happy ending.
Miss Hannigan (Megan Volkman-Wilson) sings about how she can't stand
all of the "Little Girls" that run around her orphanage.
In 1924, Harold Gray created Little Orphan Annie for the Chicago Tribune. Gray's original concept
starred a boy named, Otto. (That's right, Little Orphan Otto!) Thankfully, there were many strips featuring
boys and none about a girl, so Gray changed the protagonist's gender and name. Comic strips in the '20s
were very different from today's strips. Dailies were printed in a much larger format and often only one
Sunday strip appeared on a newspaper page. Adventure strips ran stories for many months and sometimes
for more than a year!
Little Orphan Annie was different; she met do-gooders, crooked politicians, gangsters, and fought the nazis. The
strip had elements of the supernatural. There were ghosts, leprechauns, and Mr. Am, who has lived for
"millions of years." After months of fending for herself, traveling through the small towns of America, "Daddy"
showed up for an adventure before disappearing again to allow Annie some adventures on her own. Gray wrote
and drew another strip at the same time as Little Orphan Annie, Little Joe.
Harold Gray died in 1968 and the comic strip limped along with poor art, poor writing, and reprints
of Gray's strip until the winter of 1979. After the success of the Broadway play, Leonard Starr, the
artist and writer of On Stage featuring Mary Perkins, revived the Little Orphan Annie
comic strip under the title, Annie.
Annie (Riley Means) just knows that "the sun will come out, tomorrow"
and so does her dog, Sandy (Paladin).
For more information, visit the official Little Orphan Annie page.
Read what the Washington Post said on the date of the last Annie comic.
Annie the musical returns to Broadway in the fall of 2012.