"Mike and [his then-wife] Annabel were in tears. They told me 'Annie' was the best musical that has ever been. 'Don't be discouraged by any of the things that are discouraging you,' Mike said. 'If I were a producer, I would do it in a second.'

They returned to New York and the next morning I got a telephone call from Irwin Meyer saying that Lewis Allen and Mike Nichols had decided they wanted to produce 'Annie' as a Broadway musical. It was literally overnight that Nichols became one of the producers of the musical, and the moment he became involved, everyone's attitude changed. 'Oh my goodness, maybe there really is something in that thing if Mike Nichols has decided to do it!'

Nichols was wildly supportive in the course of the remaining weeks at Goodspeed. When we got back to New York, he functioned in the best way a producer can function, by giving us a free hand in reworking the musical and forming an invisible wall against the other problems attendant to putting on a show. He said, 'Put the musical on the way you guys want it and I'll field all the other problems.' He said he wanted to be the kind of producer he never had as a director. He was very supportive; he was very helpful to Tom [Meehan] and Charles [Strouse] and me. We would spitball ideas with him, we would pick his brains when he was available to us, and he went about the business of raising money with Lewis while we continued our work on the show." -Martin Charnin on working with Mike Nichols on "Annie"

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Very sad!

Oh, I did not even make this connection when I saw the news. Thanks for posting this, Jenny.


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