The sun came out in Thousand Oaks, CA last week as Cabrillo Music Theatre proudly opened its all new production of the hit musical, Annie. ANNIE also marks the return of Sally Struthers as Miss Hannigan to the Cabrillo stage, having won a Los Angeles Stage Alliance Ovation Award for her performance as the Fairy Godmother in Rodgers and Hammerstein's Cinderella last season. Annie opened Friday, October 14th and continues through Sunday, October 23rd, at the 1,800-seat Kavli Theatre at the Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza, located at 2100 Thousand Oaks Boulevard in Thousand Oaks. Broadway World TV's Los Angeles Correspondent/Producer Michael Sterling and Associate Producer Jerry Evans of JLE Media Group Inc., spent a day with Ms. Struthers and the Annie company to talk about the world's beloved musical.
Annie boasts a Tony Award-winning score by composer Charles Strouse and lyricist Martin Charnin, and a book by Thomas Meehan. The original Broadway production ran for 2,377 performances, and spawned a sequel, two movies, and a Broadway revival. Cabrillo's production of Annie precedes yet another Broadway return, scheduled for 2012. It's Depression-era New York City, and a young orphan named Annie, armed only with a heart full of optimism and a stray dog named Sandy, begins a search for the family she never had.
Her journey leads her to an equally lonely billionaire named Oliver Warbucks, a magical tour of New York City at night, and finally to the White House.
Hounding her at every turn is Miss Hannigan, the director of the orphanage. Will Annie find her real parents? Will Miss Hannigan make it to Easy Street? Will there be a New Deal for Christmas? Annie answers all of these, and more, in a delightful mix of music and comedy. Songs include "Tomorrow," "It's The Hard Knock Life," "N.Y.C.," and "Little Girls."
The role of Miss Hannigan proves a perfect fit for Golden Globe and two-time Emmy Award winner Sally Struthers, who not only played the role on the 1997-98 national tour, but co-starred on the long-running hit television series All in the Family.
Annie was directed by Cabrillo Music Theatre's Artistic Director, Lewis Wilkenfeld. Ilana Eden serves as Music Director and conducts the Cabrillo Music Theatre Orchestra, while Heather Castillo provides the Choreography. Joining Sally Struthers in the cast are theatre veterans Norman Large (Oliver "Daddy" Warbucks) and Dink O'Neal (Rooster Hannigan), while Quinn Martin of Thousand Oaks plays Annie.
Joining Quinn Martin (in the memorable role of Annie's dog, "Sandy,") is Oliver, trained by William Berloni Theatrical Animals. Bill Berloni has trained dogs for Broadway and tours since the original Broadway production of Annie. His four-footed friends have also appeared in Legally Blonde, Will Rogers Follies, and many others. All of Berloni's trained pets are rescue animals, and he recently won an honorary Tony Award for his lifetime of excellence on the Broadway stage.
Cabrillo's Animal Rescue Program, initiated in 2009 during CATS, will be in full force with ANNIE. Rescue organizations will be in the lobby at all performances, with animals in need of loving homes. In addition, each performance will feature an appearance by one rescue animal (in the smaller role of "Dog caught by Dog Catcher"), and Cabrillo's mission is to find a home for that dog by the end of each performance.
Tickets are on sale now and may be purchased at the Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza Box Office located at 2100 Thousand Oaks Boulevard in Thousand Oaks or through any Ticketmaster location or by phone (800) 745-3000. For groups of 10 or more, please call Group Sales, Cabrillo Music Theatre at (805) 497-8613. Ticket prices range from $30-$76. Discounts available for seniors on all performances, plus larger discounts for the October 19th performance. For ticket and theatre information, call (805) 449-ARTS (2787).
MICHAEL STERLING is a successful entrepreneur of public relations and stage productions. Throughout the years, he has represented such icons as Elizabeth Taylor, Lance Armstrong, Scott Hamilton, Robert Goulet, Joan Collins, George Harrison, the Bee Gees, Andy Gibb, Donny and Marie Osmond and the Osmond Brothers, and Burt Bacharach and Carole Bayer Sager. He has also represented numerous theatre productions including Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat starring Andy Gibb on Broadway, the 30th Anniversary U.S. National Tour of The Fantasticks starring Robert Goulet, Broadway on Ice starring Scott Hamilton and Dorothy Hamill, Concert on Ice starring Dorothy Hamill, and Festival on Ice starring Tai Babilonia and Randy Gardner. In 2006, Sterling opened the award-winning cabaret Sterling's Upstairs at Vitello's in Studio City, CA dedicated to presenting the best of Broadway musical theatre performers in concert. The popular supper club is the most award-winning critically acclaimed such venue in the greater Los Angeles area. In October, 2009, Mr. Sterling created an alliance with Broadway World.com TV to co-produce and co-host television packages about select Los Angeles theatre. In May, 2010, he co-created the State of the Arts radio series for broadcast by LA Talk Radio.com, one of the world wide web's most successful and innovative radio sites. Presented by Breakdown Services, State of the Arts has become a popular weekly series co-produced and co-hosted by Mr. Sterling and actor Paul Stroili. www.msapr.net
JERRY EVANS has worked as a dancer, choreographer and director for over 28 years. The beginning of his career was highlighted by dancing in a Mikhail Baryshnikov television special. Today, Mr. Evans can now proudly boast of having worked with every major awards show, with every television network, and in every medium in which a dancer can work. With a successful professional dance career as his foundation, Evans then launched a stunning career in choreography that has been more than two decades in the making. Having choreographed numerous consecutive world tours for such artists as Reba McIntyre, Paula Abdul, and Chayanne, Evans has earned industry wide. With more than 20 feature films, 15 music videos, and 50 commercials to his choreography credentials, Jerry's reputation as the "commercial king" precedes him throughout the entertainment industry. In recognition of his achievements and contributions in dance, choreography, and production, Jerry has been honored with numerous, major industry and peer awards alike. In more recent years, Mr. Evans assembled a comprehensive knowledge of film and television camera directing based on his years of choreography experience. Whether on a set that requires single or multiple camera direction, Jerry is known for bringing his wealth of experience in film, television (both commercial and episodic), music videos, and live stage to any production. He is also the founder of JLE Media Group Inc. which specializes in hi-definition video production from conception to post-production. www.jlemediagroup.com