Citadel Theatre Company has announced casting for its 2019 holiday season production of the ever-popular family favorite ANNIE – the story of Little Orphan Annie and her new home with the uber-rich Daddy Warbucks. The CHICAGO TRIBUNE once called this musical comedy based on the long-running comic strip LITTLE ORPHAN ANNIE one of the best family musicals ever penned.” It ran for nearly six years in its initial Broadway production and has twice been revived on Broadway. It was also adapted as a popular feature film and network television special. Frequent Citadel director Robert D. Estrin, who helmed last year’s JOSEPH AND THE AMAZING TECHNICOLOR DREAMCOAT and the Jeff Award-winning THE EXPLORERS CLUB, will direct a cast of professional musical theater performers alongside an ensemble of local children as the orphans. ANNIE will open on November 22 and run through December 22, 2019, following two previews on November 20 and 21. Press opening is Friday, November 22 at 8:00 pm.
Alternating in the title role will be Sophie Kaegi, who has had roles in AN INSPECTOR CALLS (Chicago Shakespeare Theater), ELF THE MUSICAL (Paramount Theatre), and INTO THE WOODS (Writers Theatre); and Kayla Norris, whose credits include such leading roles as Dorothy In THE WIZ REMIX, Mulan in MULAN JR., and Young Nala in LION KING JR.. Playing Oliver “Daddy” Warbucks will be John B. Boss, seen recently as Joseph Pulitzer in NEWSIES at Timber Lake Playhouse, on tour with THE PRODUCERS as Roger DeBris, and as Daddy Murphy in BoHo Theatre’s Chicago premiere of BRIGHT STAR. Citadel Theatre co-founder and Actors Equity member Ellen Phelps will play the orphanage mistress Miss Hannigan while Kyle Ryan and Becca Duff will create the roles of the conniving Rooster Hannigan and Lily St. Regis.
Pictured above, clockwise from top left: Sophie Kaegi, Kayla Norris, Ellen Phelps, John B. Boss
Two groups of young performers will alternate as the other orphans under Miss Hannigan’s care: Isabel Ackerman (Kate), Lila Bahng (Molly), Shelly Berry (July), Emiko Chichester (Pepper), Sara Deodhar (Tessie), Jocelyn Goldman (Duffy), Cate Gordon (Duffy), Allison Gregorio (Pepper), Nora Hubert (Kate), Sammy Menapace (Tessie), Everleigh Murphy (Molly), and Sophia Smith (July).
The adult cast also includes John Benischek (Lt. Ward, Jimmy Johnson, Judge, Secretary of State), Abby Boegh (Dog Catcher, Annette, a Boylan Sister, Ensemble), Bill Chamberlain (Roosevelt), Jonah Cochin (Dog Catcher, Star-To-Be, Ensemble), Rachel Guth (Star-To-Be, a Boylan Sister, Ensemble), Jimmy Hogan (Bert Healy, Louis Howe, Ensemble), Emily Lewis (Cecille, Ensemble), Rebecca Marowitz (Female Swing), Nicky Mendelsohn (Bundles, Eddie, Fred McCracken, Kaltenborn, Man 2), Chamaya Moody (Grace Farrell), David Moreland (Drake, Henry Morganthau, Ensemble), Alexander Rubin (Sound Effects Man, Ickes, Ensemble), Laureen Siciliano (Mrs. Pugh, Ensemble), Alison Stake (Mrs. Greer, a Boylan Sister, Frances Perkins, Ensemble, Dance Captain), Shaina Summerville (Female Swing).
The design and production team includes: Eric Luchen (scenic design), Diane D. Fairchild (lighting design), Patty Halajian (costume design), Bob Boxer (sound design), Samantha Theilman (props design), Linda Andrews (wigs and hair design), Ellen Phelps (Production Manager), Samantha Tink (Stage Manager), Mary Kate McAlpine (Assistant Stage Manager), Lee Moore (Scenic Charge Artist), Jill Litwin (Child & Dog Supervisor), Evan Sposato (Master Carpenter), Dana Palka (stage crew), Jeffrey Gedes (Dramaturg, Audition Coordinator, Production Assistant to the Program).
Citadel Theatre is located at 300 S. Waukegan Rd., Lake Forest, IL. Tickets for ANNIE are now on sale at Tickets available online at www.citadeltheatre.org or by phone at 847-735-8554, ext. 1.
Music by Charles Strouse, Book by Thomas Meehan, Lyrics by Martin Charnin
Directed by Robert D. Estrin
Choreography by Jake Ganzer
Music Direction by Ryan Brewster
Previews November 20-21 @7:30 pm
Friday, November 22 – Sunday, December 22, 2019
Press opening Friday, November 22 at 8:00 pm.
Regular run schedule: Thursdays* at 7:30 pm, Fridays and Saturdays at 8:00 pm, Sundays at 3:00 pm., Saturday matinees at 3:00 pm beginning November 30, Wednesday matinees at 1:00 pm on December 4 and 18. *No performance Thanksgiving Day – Thursday, November 28.
Preview ticket prices - $20.00. Regular run prices Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays $40.00; Saturdays and Sundays $45.00. Discounts available for groups, seniors and students.
Citadel Theatre, 300 S. Waukegan Road, Lake Forest, IL
Tickets available online at www.citadeltheatre.org or by phone at 847-735-8554, ext. 1
With equal measures of pluck and positivity, little orphan Annie charms everyone's hearts despite a next-to-nothing start in 1930s New York City. She is determined to find the parents who abandoned her years ago on the doorstep of a New York City Orphanage that is run by the cruel, embittered Miss Hannigan. With the help of the other girls in the Orphanage, Annie escapes to the wondrous world of NYC. In adventure after fun-filled adventure, Annie foils Miss Hannigan's evil machinations... and even befriends President Franklin Delano Roosevelt! She finds a new home and family in billionaire, Oliver Warbucks, his personal secretary, Grace Farrell, and a lovable mutt named Sandy.
Robert D. Estrin (Director, ANNIE) Robert’s directing credits include JOSEPH AND THE AMAZING TECHNICOLOR DREAMCOAT, THE EXPLORERS CLUB, A CHRISTMAS STORY: THE MUSICAL, A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE FORUM, DON’T DRESS FOR DINNER, CABARET, OTHER PEOPLE’S MONEY, LEND ME A TENOR (Citadel); THE SUM OF US (1027 Productions). Director/Designer: SUCH A PRETTY FACE (Off Broadway Equity Showcase production, New York City). Designer: A CHRISTMAS CAROL, LITTLE WOMEN, THE PRISONER OF SECOND AVENUE, THE BOARDING HOUSE, SOMETHING’S AFOOT (Citadel); CORPUS DELICTI, MR. SHAW GOES TO HOLLYWOOD, SIDE EFFECTS MAY INCLUDE (MadKap Productions). Retired in 2005 from New Trier High School after thirty-four years of teaching theatre. Visit Bob on his Facebook page. Education: Northern Illinois University (B.A.); University of Illinois (M.A.).
Citadel Theatre is one of Chicagoland’s premier live theatres, producing hundreds of performances annually and inspiring audiences for over 16 years. Founded by Scott and Ellen Phelps in 2002, Citadel Theatre is comprised of its Main Stage performances, its On Tour programs, and its theatre acting classes for children. A proud member of the League of Chicago Theatres and the Lake Forest/Lake Bluff ArtsLink, Citadel Theatre offers a unique intimate theatre experience that transports you to another setting and leaves you feeling exhilarated and wanting more. A recognized 501(c)3 non-profit organization, Citadel can accept tax-deductible donations. For more information, ticketing, and to donate, please visit Citadel online at www.CitadelTheatre.org or call 847.735.8554.