Renowned animal trainer William Berloni will announce the dog that will play the role of Sandy in Broadway's new production of ANNIE on NBC'S "Today Show" today, July 19 in the 9:00 AM hour (ET).
Berloni, a recipient of a 2011 Tony Award Honor for Excellence in Theatre, began his career as an animal trainer thirty-five years ago with the original production of ANNIE in 1977. Berloni discovered Broadway's original Sandy at a Connecticut animal shelter, which began the tradition of casting the role with a shelter dog. The original Sandy went on to play all 2,377 performances of ANNIE on Broadway. Berloni has also rescued and trained dozens of shelter dogs for the four national tours of ANNIE, as well as the 10th, 20th and 30th anniversary productions.
ANNIE, the new production of the Tony Award-winning musical, is now on sale. For tickets, call 877-250-2929 or visit Ticketmaster.com. ANNIE features a book by Thomas Meehan, music by Charles Strouse and lyrics by Martin Charnin, with all three authors receiving 1977 Tony Awards® for their work. ANNIE will be directed by Pulitzer Prize and three-time Tony Award®-winner James Lapine and choreographed by Tony Award®-winner Andy Blankenbuehler. The production begins previews on October 3 at the Palace Theatre (1567 Broadway at 47th Street). Opening night is Thursday, November 8.
ANNIE stars two-time Tony Award-winner Katie Finneran as Miss Hannigan, Australian star Anthony Warlow making his Broadway debut as Daddy Warbucks and 11-year-old Lilla Crawford as Annie, with Brynn O'Malley as Grace Farrell, Clarke Thorell as Rooster Hannigan, and J. Elaine Marcos as Lily St. Regis. The Orphans are Madi Rae DiPietro as July, Georgi James as Pepper, Junah Jang as Tessie, Tyrah Skye Odoms as Kate, Taylor Richardson as Duffy, Emily Rosenfeld as Molly and Jaidyn Young as standby for the roles of Annie, Pepper, Duffy and July. The production also features Ashley Blanchet, Jane Blass, Jeremy Davis, Merwin Foard, Joel Hatch, Amanda Lea LaVergne, Gavin Lodge, Liz McCartney, Desi Oakley, David Rossetti, Sarah Solie, Dennis Stowe and Ryan VanDenBoom.
Anthony Warlow is appearing with the permission of Actors' Equity Association. The Producers gratefully acknowledge Actors' Equity Association for its assistance with this production.
The original production of ANNIE opened April 21, 1977 at the Alvin Theatre and went on to win the New York Drama Critics Circle Award for Best Musical, seven Drama Desk Awards including Best Musical, the Grammy for Best Cast Show Album and seven Tony Awards®, including Best Musical, Best Book (Thomas Meehan) and Best Score (Charles Strouse, Martin Charnin). The show was one of the biggest Broadway musical hits of the 1970s, running for almost six years and playing 2,377 performances.