Reporting Susan Richard
New York (1010 WINS) Annie the Musical marks its 35th anniversary with a return to Broadway this week in a production at the Palace Theatre directed by Tony, Drama Desk and Pulitzer Prize winner James Lapine.
The new cast of the show, which won 7 Tony Awards® including Best Musical in 1977, features Katie Finneran as the love-to-hate-her Miss Hannigan, Austrailian actor Anthony Warlow as Daddy Warbucks and Lilla Crawford in the title role. But Annie wouldn’t be Annie, without Sandy the dog. In that role is Sunny, a two year old terrier mix discovered by William Berloni of Theatrical Animals at the BARC Municipal Animal Shelter in Houston, Texas, when she was just 24 hours away from being euthanized. According to anniethemusical.com, she’d been picked up as a stray and was originally named Bruno because she was mistakenly believed to be male. Berloni adopted her on February 15, 2012 and has been training her for Broadway ever since.
So, how is Sunny doing? “The dog is probably the cleanest performer out there”, choreographer Andy Blankenbuehler tells 1010 WINS, “That dog knows where she’s going every time”.
Meet Sunny, Lilla and the cast of Annie in this special video report from 1010 WINS’ Anchor Susan Richard:
The Broadway revival is teaming up with PEDIGREE® Food for Dogs to give other shelter dogs a second chance. For every ticket purchased between now and December 31st, 2013, PEDIGREE will donate $2, up to $1 million, to PEDIGREE Foundation. “It’s really a wonderful partnership”, Berloni tells 1010 WINS, “bringing Broadway and animal rescue together”.
Annie opens in previews on October 3rd. Music by Charles Strouse, Lyrics by Martin Charnin, and Book by Thomas Meehan. Opening night is November 8th.