When, at the age of ten, I was cast in the original Broadway production of ANNIE, I was certain
I had hit the lottery. It was every little girl actress’ dream to be a part of this astounding,
moving, mega-hit musical. When I was asked to direct the first national tour, since losing the
original director and artistic driving force, Martin Charnin, that same feeling overtook me.
Thrill. Gratitude. And unadulterated, childlike JOY. I had to pinch myself all over again.
What is it about this show and this character that continues to offer scores and generations of
theatre-lovers, old and new, that same feeling? For decades, ANNIE has continued to shine
brightly not only as an appeal to our better angels, but also an example of the thrill of hope,
hard-won. Her brand of optimism isn’t some empty-headed bromide, it is a choice. A calling.
A light turned on, in a cold, dark night. And my goodness, don’t we need her now more than
As a mother myself, I know that sophisticated family fare, is always at a premium. The fact that
these gorgeous life-lessons reside in such a beautifully built and wonderfully entertaining show,
only further makes the case for why ANNIE never disappoints and always inspires.
I couldn’t be more thrilled to inherit this legacy from its original creators, all of whom shaped
and influenced me in too many ways to enumerate. To be entrusted, along with my incredible
creative team, with presenting her to a new generation is the honor of my career.
I look forward to seeing you at the theatre.
AKA: Pepper 🙂