Thirty-five years ago, a little red-headed orphan named Annie made her debut on the Goodspeed Opera House stage. Annie, the musical, was brought to life by the creative trio of Thomas Meehan, Charles Strouse and Martin Charnin, among a host of other talented individuals.
From its Goodspeed beginnings, the musical went on to open on Broadway in 1977 and has since become world-renowned. Annie has also won numerous awards including a Tony for Best Musical.
In honor of that legacy, Goodspeed Musicals will be holding a gala on Saturday to recognize and honor the original creative team with the Goodspeed Award for Outstanding Contribution to Musical Theatre. Proceeds from the Gala will go to support Goodspeed Musicals’ Education Programs through The Max Showalter Center for Education in Musical Theatre.
Did we mention, Sara Jessica Parker will be at the event as the Honorary Chair? Parker took on the role of Annie on Broadway in 1979 and is now an internationally-known stage and screen star.
The rest of the Honorary Committee includes the original Goodspeed Opera House Annie, Andrea McArdle, who also originated the role of Annie on Broadway; the theatrical animal trainer who trained the original Sandy, William Berloni; Ken Billington, lighting designer for the 1997 Broadway revival; Sutton Foster, who appeared in the Broadway revival of Annie in 1997; Freddie Gershon of Music Theater International; Arielle Tepper Madover, Producer for 2012 Broadway revival; James L. Nederlander and James M. Nederlander, Broadway Producers; General Manager for the upcoming 2012 Broadway revival, Wendy Orshan and Conrad John Schuck, who made his Broadway debut as “Daddy” Warbucks opposite Sarah Jessica Parker in 1979.
The Emcee for the gala is Conrad John Schuck, who is most well-known for his work in “The Munsters".
The gala will be held at the in Haddam and will include a cocktail hour followed by dinner. There will be a live auction and entertainment by some of Broadway’s beloved performers in celebration of Annie's journey from the stage to Broadway and the silver screen. Tickets were sold for $500 per individual and $5000 per table.
Annie is based upon the Harold Gray comic strip Little Orphan Annie, with music by Charles Strouse, lyrics by Martin Charnin and the book by Thomas Meehan.