The adorable actress Quvenzhane Wallis (Beasts of the Southern Wild), the youngest performer to receive a Lead Actress nomination in Oscar history, will take on the iconic role of Annie in the forthcoming remake of the movie musical. Will Smith and Jay-Z, who is expected to contribute additional songs, are serving as producers on the new Annie film.
“She is an extraordinary young talent with an amazing range, not only as an actress but as a singer and dancer, and we can’t wait for audiences to further discover her,” stated Columbia Pictures president of production, Hannah Minghella.
Theater audiences are currently re-discovering Annie on Broadway, thanks to the hit revival playing at the Palace Theatre. The upcoming film version is anticipating a late 2014 release.
Already a respected comic actress and improv performer due to her extensive work in films like Christopher Guest’s Best in Show, and now a well-known TV star thanks to her role on Glee, Jane Lynch is soon to add Broadway to her resume. Later this spring, Lynch will make her Broadway debut in the well-received Broadway revival of the musical Annie, now playing at the Palace Theatre.
Jane Lynch will be replacing Tony winner Katie Finneran in the role of Miss Hannigan, the tyrannical orphanage matron who serves as little orphan Annie’s nemesis in the show. “Some may say I know a thing or two about playing intimidating authority figures,” stated Lynch. “So I am excited and honored to be making my Broadway debut with the wonderful Annie
Jane Lynch is scheduled to be in Annie for just eight weeks, from May 16 through July 24.
A New York City holiday tradition for 86 years, the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is also a great showcase for another NYC staple, Broadway musicals. This year’s parade, which will air on NBC from 9am to noon on Thursday, November 22, is going to showcase five of this season’s Broadway musicals: family-friendly shows Annie and Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella, Christmas-themed Elf, the Matthew Broderick-starring Gershwin showcase Nice Work If You Can Get It, and the competitive cheerleading musical Bring It On.
Of course the hallmark of the Thanksgiving parade remains the massive balloons and parade floats that make their way along the parade route from the Upper West Side down to 34th Street. But performances from Broadway shows add a little musical spark to the proceedings. Given the broadcast’s enormous national ratings, this gives the featured shows tremendous exposure to potential ticket buyers. Bring It On in particular, which has struggled to fill seats, is likely to enjoy a box office boost due to its on-air performance.
Celebrating its 35th anniversary as one of the musical theater world’s most beloved family musicals, Annie opens on Broadway tonight in a new revival production directed by James Lapine. Based on the popular 1920s Little Orphan Annie comic strips, the tuneful musical about an optimistic, redhead orphan first came to Broadway in 1977 and went on to win Tony Awards for Best Musical, Best Book (written by The Producers and Hairspray scribe Thomas Meehan), and of course Best Score. Written by lyricist Martin Charnin and composer Charles Strouse, Annie‘s memorable score includes several well-known songs, among them “Tomorrow,” “You’re Never Fully Dressed Without a Smile,” and “It’s a Hard-Knock Life”.
11-year old Lilla Crawford (who already has Broadway’s Billy Elliot on her resume) stars as Annie. She is joined onstage by two-time Tony-winning funny lady Katie Finneran (Promises, Promises, Noises Off) as the comically villainous orphan matron Miss Hannigan and by Anthony Warlow, a musical theater star who hails from Australia, as Annie’s billionaire caretaker Daddy Warbucks.