Annie: all-new production to shine in 2012

Producer Arielle Tepper Madover has acquired the production rights for the beloved Tony Award-winning musical Annie and will produce an all-new production of it for Broadway, opening in the fall of 2012.

Annie features music by Charles Strouse, lyrics by Martin Charnin and book by Thomas Meehan, based on the newspaper character "Little Orphan Annie" by Harold Gray.

The musical tells the story of Orphan Annie, a girl whose optimism knows no bounds. Annie lives in an orphanage looked after by the cruel Miss Hannigan, but her life changes when she is selected to spend time in the house of wealthy industrialist Oliver Warbucks.

The 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".

"We're truly thrilled to have Annie return to Broadway in a brand new production," commented authors Charles Strouse, Martin Charnin and Thomas Meehan. "We think it seems like a great time to welcome back the hope, optimism and spirit of Annie. She changed our lives forever."

Arielle Tepper Madover said "My grandmother took me to see Annie over the Thanksgiving holiday when I was seven. It was my first Broadway show. From that moment, I knew that I wanted to work in the theater. The past 30 years have prepared me to produce this show on Broadway and I cannot wait to share it with a new generation of Broadway audiences and with my own children."

The musical was a hit when it premiered on Broadway in 1977, winning seven Tony Awards and running for six years playing 2,377 performances, however its 1997 revival was not so successful, receiving negative reviews and closing after only seven months. Both Broadway productions were directed by Martin Charnin.

It is hoped that the 2012 revival will fare better, and to that aim Thomas Meehan is working on revising the book. Madover told the New York Times (NYT), "The script has never been touched since 1977, and our hope is to really make this revival for current audiences, so Tom is going to go to work on the book."

Madover said she does not know what changes Meehan may make to the story, but it will still be set in FDR's America during the Great Depression era. Madover commented that the production will not be "a pared-down version," but a full scale Broadway production.

Madover also said she is not sure if the revival will cast any star names. She told the NYT's "Annie has always been played by an unknown, so I'm guessing we'll go that way." The Broadway premiere production of Annie made theatrical names for Andrea McArdle and Sarah Jessica Parker, two of the young actresses who played the leading role during its run.

The original production of Annie opened 21 Apr 1977 at the Alvin Theatre, and starred Andrea McArdle as 'Annie,' Dorothy Loudon as 'Miss Hannigan' and Reid Shelton as 'Oliver Warbucks.'

Annie was revived on Broadway in 1997, starring Brittny Kissinger as 'Annie,' Nell Carter as 'Miss Hannigan' and 'Conrad John Schuck' as 'Oliver Warbucks.'.

Annie launched five national US companies and dozens of international productions, including two successful West End productions. The musical has been filmed twice, for motion pictures in 1982 and for television in 1999. 20th and 30th Anniversary productions have toured the country.

Theatre, creative team and cast for Annie will be announced at a later date.

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