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.
Three Broadway shows are closing this weekend, the long-running musical Memphis, the limited run hit Harvey, and the return engagement of Fela!
The Tony Award-winning Memphis has been playing at the Shubert Theatre since autumn of 2009, and has played well over 1,100 performances during the course of its run. Based on the true story of a DJ who shocked the segregated South by playing “black music” on the radio in the 1950s, Memphis has been a popular hit that never attained the sell-out status of a Jersey Boys, but nonetheless enjoyed a healthy run. The role of the charismatic DJ, Huey Calhoun, gave Chad Kimball a showy star part, but Adam Pascal (Rent, Aida) has been playing the role since last October, when Kimball left the show.
Harvey, on the other hand, has had a short run, but could have easily continued on for longer due to popular demand. However, star Jim Parsons was only able to do a limited engagement because of his filming schedule for the hit TV comedy The Big Bang Theory. Known by the largest number of people because of its famed film version starring Jimmy Stewart, Mary Chase’s Harvey began as a play first and held up surprisingly well in this Roundabout Theatre Company Broadway revival, despite it being over 65 years old.
Fela!, a very well-liked musical that played Broadway for over a year starting in late 2009, returned for a very brief engagement at the Al Hirschfeld Theatre from July 12 to August 4 as a part of its current world tour. Celebrating the life and music of activist Fela Anikulapo-Kuti, this lively musical features big name producers Will Smith, Jada Pinkett Smith, and Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter.