Boasting one of Broadway's most beloved scores, including "Hard-Knock Life," "Easy Street," "N.Y.C." and the ever optimistic "Tomorrow," you can bet your bottom dollar that Annie will bring a smile to your face. Based on the popular Harold Gray comic strip, "Little Orphan Annie," the classic musical about never giving up hope features a book by Thomas Meehan, music by Charles Strouse and lyrics by Martin Charnin.
Connecticut celebrities Scot Haney and Kate Bolduc will make their Hartford Children's Theatre debut performances for one show only on Saturday, Jan. 8 at 2 pm. Haney, WFSB Channel 3's meteorologist and popular co-host of the station's morning show "Better Connecticut," will take on the role of radio host Bert Healy while Bolduc, CEO of the Greater Hartford Arts Council, sings the role of "Star to Be."
Directed by HCT Artistic Director Ryan Ratelle with musical direction by John DeNicola and choreography by Lisa Foss and Caitlin Sailer, the cast features Hollis Long of West Hartford in the title role, Keith Johnson as Daddy Warbucks, Alecia Adams Evans as Grace Farrell and Emely Larson as Miss Hannigan.
Annie's four-footed friend "Sandy" will be played by Macy, a rescue dog from Oklahoma trained by William Berloni Theatrical Animals (see the feature on Bill here). Berloni, a Connecticut resident and author of "Broadway Tails: Heartfelt Stories of Rescued Dog Who Became Showbiz Superstars," will be on hand to sign his book at a special event Jan. 15. See below.
The cast also includes Sea Tea Improv founding members Julia Pistell as Star to Be and Greg Ludovici as Bert Healy along with Nick D'Angelo as Rooster, Scott McDonald as Drake, Caitlin Sailer as Lily, Arnie Woelfel as FDR, Isabella Brodeur as Molly, Samantha Bluth as Pepper, Sophia Foss as July, Lauren Popillo as Duffy, Sofia Schroth-Douma as Tessie, Emmalydia Ross as Kate.
The ensemble features Sophie Alter, Joshua Alleyne, Stephanie Baker, Sydney Baker, Thomas Beebe, Madison Bluth, Jeanne DellaRocca, Brooke DellaRocco, Lexi DellaRocco, Charles DellaRocco, Grace Donovan, Eva Evans, Jenna Iacono, Lisa Iacono, Colleen Litchfield, Jeremy Long, Cassandra Martin, Molly Miller, McKayla Morrison, Taylor Paydos, Rachel Perlin, Alexandra Pita, Timothy Perry, Anthony Piccione, Nicole Rodriguez, Shannon Sobolow, Virginia Van Zandt and Christina Vlamis.
The creative team: Scenic Designs by Magge Gagliardi, Costume Designs by Alyssa Opishinski, Lighting Designs by Steve Larson and Wig & Make-Up Designs by Linda Stanhope.
Tickets are $18 for adults, $13 for children (13 and under) and senior citizens and are available online at www.hartfordchildrenstheatre.org. For more information, call 860-429-7970 ext. 12. Discounts are available for groups of 15 or more. The performance schedule is as follows: Friday, Jan. 7 at 7 pm; Saturday, Jan. 8 at 10 am and 2 pm; Sunday, Jan. 9 at 2 pm; Friday, Jan. 14 at 7 pm; Saturday, Jan. 15 at 10 am and 2 pm and Sunday, Jan. 16 at 2 pm.
Student Matinee Performances will be offered at 10 am on Wednesday, Jan. 12 and Thursday, Jan. 13.
FAMILY FUN DAYS
- Friday, Jan. 7 at 6 pm Celebrate opening night in style at Annie's Leapin' Lizards Opening Night Celebration! You'll feel like a Broadway star as you stroll down the red carpet to have your photograph taken with Annie, Daddy Warbucks and Miss Hannigan, enjoy NYC-themed treats and have your caricature done for the wall at Sardi's!
- Talk Back and Book Signing with Bill Berloni Sunday, Jan. 9 after the performance. Copies of Berloni's book will be available for purchase.
- Character Breakfast Saturday, Jan. 15 at 9 am. Tickets are $6. Visit with Annie and Sandy's four-footed friends from the CT Humane Society. Families will have the opportunity to pose for a photo with Annie and the cast, participate in a fun craft activity and enjoy a delicious breakfast before attending the 10 am performance. Reservations are required.