Productions > Annie.

About the production

In 1924 Harold Gray approached the editor of The Chicago Tribune Syndicate with an idea for a new cartoon strip.  The editor suggested one change, "Little Orphan Otto"  became a girl - and a classic was born.    The strip debuted on August 5th of that year.

Little Orphan Annie was not an original name - it was the title of an 1885 poem by James Whitcomb Riley and a photo that has
hung in a Philadelphia gallery since 1909.  Nor was the idea of a self-reliant kid, alone against the world, a new one.  Gray's art
style was stiff and primitive, and his characterisations unsubtle in the extreme.  He has been accused of injecting a great deal of
his very conservative political point of view into the strip.  About the only thing he had going for him was an amazing ability to
grab the reader's interest, drag him into the story, and make him come back the next day for another installment.
The story formula was simple - rags to riches and back again - with a healthy dollop of homespun philosophy
made up of grit, cheer, self-reliance and good ol' pluck.  In a cycle that Gray repeated over and over
until his death in 1968, Annie,"Daddy" Warbucks and a none-descript dog named Sandy did whatever it was that
needed to be done, foiling any number of thugs, politicians and any other crooks along the way
Annie became a radio star in 1930 and remained on the air for 13 years.  In 1932 she was the subject of her first movie from RKO
and the second from Paramount Pictures followed six years later.  She appeared in Super Comics from 1938 - 49 and scattered
issues of her own comic appeared from 1937-48.  She was also honoured by appearing on a U.S postage stamp in 1995.
In 1977 she became the subject of a Broadway musical, which ran over 2,000 performances before it closed in 1983.  In '82 that
stage production formed the basis of her third movie.  The play is still revived from time to time, most recently in a 1999 episode
of the Walt Disney TV show.  It even had a sequel, Annie 2: Miss Hannigan's Revenge, which opened on Broadway in 1990.
After Gray's death several cartoonists tried to fill his shoes, but only he was capable of dishing up that peculiar mix of schmaltz
and simple pragmatism.  1n 1974 they gave up and simply started re-running old strips by Gray but with new illustrators.
After three quarters of a century, Little Orphan Annie seems a permanent fixture on the American scene - proving that,
whatever she happens to look like, there'll always be a place for grit, cheer, self-reliance and  just good ol' pluck.

Little Orphan Annie was not an original name - it was the title of an 1885 poem by James Whitcomb Riley and a photo that has hung in a Philadelphia gallery since 1909.  Nor was the idea of a self-reliant kid, alone against the world, a new one.  Gray's art style was stiff and primitive, and his characterisations unsubtle in the extreme.  He has been accused of injecting a great deal of his very conservative political point of view into the strip.  About the only thing he had going for him was an amazing ability to grab the reader's interest, drag him into the story, and make him come back the next day for another installment.

The story formula was simple - rags to riches and back again - with a healthy dollop of homespun philosophy made up of grit, cheer, self-reliance and good ol' pluck.  In a cycle that Gray repeated over and over until his death in 1968, Annie,"Daddy" Warbucks and a none-descript dog named Sandy did whatever it was that needed to be done, foiling any number of thugs, politicians and any other crooks along the way

Annie became a radio star in 1930 and remained on the air for 13 years.  In 1932 she was the subject of her first movie from RKO and the second from Paramount Pictures followed six years later.  She appeared in Super Comics from 1938 - 49 and scattered issues of her own comic appeared from 1937-48.  She was also honoured by appearing on a U.S postage stamp in 1995.

In 1977 she became the subject of a Broadway musical, which ran over 2,000 performances before it closed in 1983.  In '82 that stage production formed the basis of her third movie.  The play is still revived from time to time, most recently in a 1999 episode of the Walt Disney TV show.  It even had a sequel, Annie 2: Miss Hannigan's Revenge, which opened on Broadway in 1990.

After Gray's death several cartoonists tried to fill his shoes, but only he was capable of dishing up that peculiar mix of schmaltz and simple pragmatism.  1n 1974 they gave up and simply started re-running old strips by Gray but with new illustrators.

After three quarters of a century, Little Orphan Annie seems a permanent fixture on the American scene - proving that, whatever she happens to look like, there'll always be a place for grit, cheer, self-reliance and  just good ol' pluck.

 

2005-11 Annie-Poster.jpg

Cast List   

 

Annie Cydney Beagley
Miss Hannigan Sue Read
Bundles Shaun Kane
Apple Seller Sarah Dawson
Stray Dog Elton
Officer Ward Peter Scudamore
Sandy Honey
Eddie Warden
Sophie Lyn Pollard
Grace Gemma Ribakovs
Drake Dave Lescott
Mrs Greer Pam Stimson
Mrs Pugh Ros Roden
Cecille Sarah Bibey
Annette Sarah Middleton
Oliver Warbucks Steve Gravett
Star-to-be Tracy Sortwell
Rooster Mark Freeman
Lily Joanna Linford
Wacky Russ Seaton
Bert Healy Warden
The Boylan Sisters Tricia Linford
Georgina Hudman
Sarah Bibey
Johnson Dave Lescott
Ickes Shaun Kane
Perkins Pam Stimson
Hull Jonathan Buckle
Morganthau Russ Seaton
Roosevelt Peter Scudamore
Howe Brian Havers

Annie Cydney Beagley

Miss Hannigan Sue Read

Bundles Shaun Kane

Apple Seller Sarah Dawson

Stray Dog Elton

Officer Ward Peter Scudamore

Sandy Honey

Eddie Warden

Sophie Lyn Pollard

Grace Gemma Ribakovs

Drake Dave Lescott

Mrs Greer Pam Stimson

Mrs Pugh Ros Roden

Cecille Sarah Bibey

Annette Sarah Middleton

Oliver Warbucks Steve Gravett

Star-to-be Tracy Sortwell

Rooster Mark Freeman

Lily Joanna Linford

Wacky Russ Seaton

Bert Healy Warden

The Boylan Sisters Tricia Linford

Georgina Hudman

Sarah Bibey

Johnson Dave Lescott

Ickes Shaun Kane

Perkins Pam Stimson

Hull Jonathan Buckle

Morganthau Russ Seaton

Roosevelt Peter Scudamore

Howe Brian Havers

 

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