This is “Annie” week at the playhouse. The Youth Theatre is most pleased to report that the five performances are 100% sold out, and have been since October. VYT is opening up the final dress rehearsal on Wednesday, December 11 to the public. That show will start at 6:30 and will be seated on a first come, first served basis. Tickets are free and donations are gladly accepted. The holiday would not be complete without 40 orphans and a dog!
In the meantime, here are some “Annie” facts you might enjoy!
August 5, 1924 – Little Orphan Annie, the comic strip first appears in the pages of The New York Daily News. The strip depicts the adventures and hard times facing a little red-haired orphan girl.
Sept. 27, 1924 – Annie meets Oliver Warbucks who tells her “Listen here, don’t you ever dare to call me Mister Warbucks again, you call me Daddy, see?” Daddy Warbucks joins the cast of characters.
Jan. 5, 1925 – Annie rescues a puppy from some bullies (awwww) and names him Sandy. The comic strip Sandy is drawn to resemble an Airedale, and accompanies Annie on almost all of her adventures. Curiously, Sandy is the only character in the strip who grows up and ages.
Nov. 16, 1927 – Annie is living with kindly Mrs. Pewter, who decides Annie needs a new dress. She makes her a red dress with a white collar and cuffs, which becomes the iconic “Annie” trademark look.
Dec. 24, 1932 – The first movie called “Little Orphan Annie” is released by RKO Pictures starring Mitzi Green.
August 10, 1976 – A brand new Broadway bound musical opens at the Goodspeed Opera House in Connecticut.
March 1, 1977 – After lots of revisions, actual Broadway previews begin at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. The cast also performs for President Jimmy Carter.
April 6, 1977 – The show opens for previews at the Alvin Theatre (later renamed the Neil Simon theatre) in (sing it now) N – Y – C!
April 21, 1977 – Opening Night! During the course of this production and the touring companies, the following stars (among others) have appeared as “Annie”; Andrea McArdle, Sarah Jessica Parker, Allison Smith and Alyssa Milano. Molly Ringwald played “Kate.”
June 5, 1977 – The show wins seven Tony awards: Costume Design (Theoni Aldredge), Scenic Design (David Mitchell), Choreographer (Peter Gennaro), Actress in a Musical (Dorothy Loudon), Score, Book, and Best Musical (Charles Strouse/ Martin Charnin/ Thomas Meehan). Excerpts form the show performed for the Tony Award telecast include “Tomorrow”, “You’re Never Fully Dressed”, and “Easy Street.”
Jan. 2, 1983 – The Broadway show closes after five and one half years and 2,377 performances. The plan to open “Annie 2” is announced at the closing curtain. It never makes it to Broadway.