“Annie” opens today at Stage Coach Theater in DeKalb.
The production is directed by Sue Price Johnson, assistant directed by Dan Hyde, and with musical direction by Jodeen Coulter and Dave Aldis.
“Annie” was based on the popular Harold Gray comic strip “Little Orphan Annie,” with music by Charles Strouse, lyrics by Martin Charnin, and book by Thomas Meehan. The original Broadway production opened in 1977, ran for nearly six years and won the Tony Award for Best Musical. The Broadway revival of Annie opened in 2012, marking the 35th anniversary of the original show.
Orphan Annie and her furry pal Sandy (played by Beckett the golden retriever) are sure to tug at your heartstrings. The storyline is one of optimism. “Annie” is partnering with TAILS Humane Society, which is supplying the stray dogs featured in the show. TAILS and Stage Coach Players hope to create awareness and find forever homes for these strays.
The story takes place in the early 1930s. Annie (Maggie Madziarczyk) is a spunky orphan who must live in a miserable orphanage run by the tyrannical Miss Hannigan (Terri Crain Goodman). Her seemingly hopeless situation changes dramatically when she is invited to spend the Christmas holidays at the residence of billionaire businessman Oliver Warbucks (Larry Breidenbach). The feisty girl charms the household staff and muscles her way into the heart of the gruff billionaire. Warbucks decides to help Annie find her long-lost parents by offering a significant reward, however, Miss Hannigan, her evil brother Rooster (Tom McManahon) and his girlfriend, Lily St. Regis (Megan Johnson), plan to impersonate Annie’s missing parents to get the reward for themselves.
Understudy Kaitlin Jacobson will play the title role in the Nov. 9 matinee and Nov. 16 evening shows. The orphans have been double-cast; each cast of orphans will have speaking roles in five performances and non-speaking roles in the other five.
Stage Coach Theater is at 126 S. Fifth St. in DeKalb.
“Annie” runs today through Sunday and Nov. 14 through 17 with performances at 7:30 p.m. weeknights and Saturdays and 2 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. Tickets cost $15 for adults and $12 for children.
For tickets or information, call 815-758-1940 or visit www.stagecoachers.com.