Kathie Lee Gifford will take on the role of the conniving Miss Hannigan in the previously-announced Madison Square Garden presentation of Annie.
The current national tour of Annie will play the Theater at Madison Square Garden for a limited holiday run from December 6th through December 30th. Gifford will star alongside Conrad John Schuck, who plays Daddy Warbucks, and Marissa O'Donnell, who stars as the red-headed moppet of the title.
"When Martin Charnin first asked me to join the cast of Annie, I was young enough to actually play her! Now, many 'tomorrows' later, it's kind of ironic to hear he thinks I'm perfect for Miss Hannigan! Looking in the mirror, I have to agree. Kidding aside, I'm honored and excited to be joining this talented cast in such a superb new production. And in New York City! I guess Christmas came early for me this year," stated Gifford, who has appeared on Broadway in the Sondheim revue Putting It Together and who has also penned the scores of the musicals Under the Bridge and Saving Aimee (which will open at Signature Theatre in Virginia this April). She is perhaps best known for having co-hosted "Live with Regis and Kathie Lee."
Annie is currently on a national tour that will last through March of 2007; it stars Schuck, O'Donnell and Alene Robertson. The production is helmed by the show's original Broadway director and lyricist, Martin Charnin, who wrote the Tony Award-winning score with composer Charles Strouse. The new song "Why Should I Change A Thing?" – has been incorporated into the production for the very the first time. Annie also features a book by Thomas Meehan.
Set in the midst of America's Great Depression," state press notes, "Annie tells the story of the ever-hopeful orphan whose dreams of finding family and happiness hold steadfast in the midst of a time in America when looking towards 'Tomorrow' was virtually unthinkable. With her faithful dog Sandy by her side, the indomitable Annie wins the heart of 'zillionaire' Oliver Warbucks, and together, they foil an evil plot hatched by the villainous orphanage director, Miss Hannigan."
The production also includes original Broadway musical staging by Peter Gennaro, choreography by Liza Gennaro, scenic design by Ming Cho Lee, lighting design by Ken Billington, costume design by Theoni Aldridge and sound design by Peter Hylenski. Annie is presented by executive producer Ken Gentry. The show, which won seven Tony Awards (including Best Musical, Book and Score), ran for 2,377 performances on Broadway from 1977 through 1983.
For more information on the Annie tour, visit www.annieontour.com.