I just wanted to write to you and thank you for the wonderful "Annie" connection you have created. Long ago, when I was a young teen, my mother took me to see the first touring production of "Annie", in Washington, D.C. It was the cast with Kathy-Jo Kelly. Although, I wasn't a little girl, seeing that show still changed my life! I discovered that I, too, would love to perform. I credit that show for opening my eyes. And over the many years that followed, I appeared in many community and Dinner Theater shows, including Annie! Now, I'm married with three daughters of my own. And, after taking each of them to see a production of "Annie", they, too hold a special place in their hearts for that show!
Thank you and I wish you much success.
What a marvelous job you did on that website. I'm hoping to see your documentary in the near future. Annie was my first Broadway show (January 15, 1978). I still have my ticket stub. Your website brought back so many memories, as I'm sure it did for you. I loved seeing the picture of Tara Kennedy. Although I did not see her in Annie, I did see her in I Remember Mama during the summer of 1979. My mom and I met Tara and her mom at the stage door. I told her she'd be perfect for Annie. I was not surprised to see when she cast soon after as one of the orphans.
Julie, keep up the great work and best of luck to you.
I grew up in Philadelphia (home to Andrea McArdle!) and remember going to see the National Tour of Annie at the Shubert Theatre in December, 1981. My mom knew the mother of the girls who played Molly and July. I'll never forget sitting in the fourth row and watching them! I had the chance to meet them after the show (they told me they could see me from the stage) and they came out in little white fur coats and just looked like stars (me? - it was Christmas time and I had on a goofy pull the string and Santa lights up pin!). I remember they wanted to take me over to meet Annie and I just wouldn't go. I was terrified to actually meet Annie....it was already overwhelming enough to meet 2 of the orphans! On that tour, Annie was played by Kristi Coombs....I noticed her on the clips from the film! In any case, Annie was an obsession from my childhood....once the film came out, I owned the bedspread, curtains, wallets, lunchboxes, both albums, sticker collections....my mom let me get a perm but drew the line at the red hair! I have great memories of my Annie-obsessed childhood! My friends still tease me, but it was a great time...and I still get goosebumps when I hear the music or see the movie on TV!
When the first national company of ANNIE came to Toronto, I saw the show on its second night, and it literally changed my life. I knew by the end of the performance that I had to do "this" with my life. And I did. As a result, ANNIE has always had a soft-spot in my heart. In 1983, I produced the very first licensed non-professional production of ANNIE anywhere (in Toronto). I feel very privileged to have done that.
The reason I love your site and participate on the Forum is because you are the genuine article. You are an "Actual Annie Orphan". You are one of a very limited quantity, and they don't make them anymore! I come across sites all the time for all sorts of things like TV shows, films, etc. and about 60% of the information fans have to be either guessing at or making up altogether. However, your site is genuine, honest, informative and fun and the videos are one of those things that make it so unique. Anyway, thank you again for sharing your "Annie Sisters/Orphans" and your "Annie World" with this very appreciative fan.
I was an “Annie Addict” during its initial run on Broadway. I was singing at Lincoln Center during the initial early end of the run at the Met and NYC Operas and used to come down to the BROADWAY ARCADE and play pinball with everyone between shows on Saturday or Wednesday. Andrea McArdle and I used to ‘spar at pinball” and I literally would spend HOURS backstage of the then, ALVIN theater. Ray, the doorman, would just say ‘hello,’ and let me up wherever I was headed. On Saturdays, I almost ‘lived’ in Bob Fitch and Ray Thorne’s dressing room. Ray used to come in for the end of the first act, so Bob and I would just hang out for a couple of hours, and then I’d play darts in the hall on the 4th floor with the other guys after that.
As a fellow "orphan", I wanted to thank you for this movie. I grew up in New Jersey and from the years of 1983 -1989 (I think that's right), I played every orphan in different professional and community productions of “Annie” around the NY, NJ & PA. I started off as Molly at the Bucks County Playhouse (where I performed the show over 4 or 5 years), and continued through all the orphans, except Duffy. I concluded in 8th grade, playing Annie at the Betsy Ross Inn.
Although I never performed on Broadway, I grew up doing the show all the time, missing school for matinees. When a friend told me about Life After Tomorrow, and I sat down to watch it, I cried. It meant so much to me to hear the same things I've been telling people for years coming out of so many different mouths. The experience we all shared is like no other, and to know that other people truly understood what it meant to grow up in this show, well, it touched me.
Wow. When I was flipping through the channels and heard “the sun will come out…” I stopped dead in my tracks and turned up the TV. I had to write in after I saw the 20/20 segment on “Life After Tomorrow”. It gave me the chills! I was in “Annie” in1990, in a huge production in Santa Barbara, CA. Of course, this is nothing like Broadway or a National Tour- but it was an amazing experience. I remember we had auditions and 200 girls showed up- for 16 parts. I can remember everything about that experience- and I have done a number of shows since. Something about “Annie” just was magical. I was sooo surprised to see that other women have had the same feelings and it just all came rushing back to me! I know those dances by heart. It is almost hard to watch the show because it is so emotional for me and I always tear up when I hear those songs.
Again, thank you for creating this site and for offering the story to 20/20. Even for those of us who were just “small town” theatre performers, “Annie” was a show that remains most close to the heart.
Let me begin by saying that I recently discovered the annieorphans.com website and I think you have done a wonderful job creating and running that site. I cannot imagine the amount of work it must be - and from all the many participants - it is clear your time and energy is much appreciated. On behalf of at least this one former "Annie" let me please add my thanks and kudos to the many you have probably already received.
- “Annie” cast member
I have just turned 17 and live in England. When I was 11, I played the original Annie with the company that went on to be the U.K national touring company. It has been the best experience on my entire life. I have always had this 'feeling' in me. I call it this because I don't know how to explain it. Then I watched the trailer and for the first time ever, I heard on that video exactly the way I feel, wanting to relive it and dwelling in the past. I felt the same as those past “Annie” orphans felt. “Annie,” for me, was my dream I had always wanted it and when it was over, it was like someone had taken part of my soul away.
I think what you have done with ANNIE is just fantastic. You have resurrected many childhood memories for me. My sister’s experience in ANNIE had as much an impact on my life as it did with her. I can’t tell you how proud I am of my little sister, and how proud I continue to be. I am thrilled that you found a way to keep the memories alive.
-Brother of “Annie” cast member
I just wanted to thank you for all your time and efforts with the annieorphans website. It’s a huge treat every time I log on and it wouldn’t have happened without you. My “first time” seeing “Annie” was in 1980 at the Orpheum Theatre in Minneapolis. I was so moved, I remember my legs were shaking and I could barely get out of my seat at the end. That’s pretty powerful stuff for a seven year old! Like so many, I wanted to be in the show and eventually tried out for a local dinner theatre production but only made it to the first callback. All these years later, I still have some “Annie” bug left in me and I actually tried out for a local production yesterday. I guess it goes under the category of “it’s never too late.” I was reminded of how theatre and performing is still very much in my blood and “Annie” was the thing that jump-started it for me. How great it must have been to be a p art of that. It’s just something to be proud of forever! Thank you for giving so many people the chance to revisit a magical part of their lives.
Many years ago, I used to go see “Annie” at the Alvin Theatre when I was an art student in college. I used to draw pictures of the kids in the show and their moms used to get me into the theatre all the time. One mom even gave me a show jacket with my name on it, which I still have, although it doesn’t fit me as well.
Thank you for compiling this amazing site. I saw Sarah Jessica Parker as “Annie” and it was the first play I ever saw. This site has an amazing amount of sound and videos for a big fan like me.
I was really pleased when I was told about your site. Many of us are trying to get our kids through the ups and downs of a tough and wonderful business. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate having a place to go and chat.
I LOVE your site. I’ve been a huge fan of the show since childhood, when I saw the show on Broadway with you as Pepper. It was my very fist Broadway show. I was thrilled when I realized who you were – I was so enthralled by the show and the girls who played the orphans that I feel like you’re an old friend. Thanks for running such a great site.
I hope all the alums know how much the audience members really enjoyed and appreciated all the hard work they put into their performances, and how many lives the show has touched. I remember listening to the original cast recording over and over again, seeing the show several times in Detroit, and being awestruck when I had the chance, along with my father, to meet the girls from the 3rd National company after one of the performances (during Bridget’s run as Annie). I went through a very rough time during my junior high years, and the happiness and inspiration I derived from the show helped me get through it. I remember reading Thomas Meehan’s “Annie: An Old Fashioned Story” out loud to my father, playing songs from the Broadway Cast recording at he appropriate points in the story. Whenever I felt depressed, listening to the soundtrack or thinking of my memories of the stage production never failed to brighten my day. Obviously, my story is not a unique one, as there are many people on the forum who have shared similar stories about how Annie has had a positive influence on their lives.
I became a fan of Annie when I saw Kristi Coombs perform in Boston in the early 80’s. I remember being in awe of her powerful voice. She was so tiny! I also recall her beautiful dimples. After seeing “Annie,” I couldn’t get enough of the show. I scoured the newspapers looking for articles. I left my little tape recorder close to the TV in case “Annie” might be featured. Due to constant use, I wore out several tapes and records.
Your site brings back great memories from my childhood. I wish the Internet was prevalent when the show was first running. It would have been great to meet “Annie” performers and fans that shared my passion for the show. Even though my friends liked “Annie,” they weren’t quite as enthusiastic as I was.
I think it’s wonderful of you to make this website and to be so generous with your talent and insights. My first memory of “Annie” was the “Annie Christmas Special” on TV. As a little girl, Andrea McArdle was my idol. I didn’t get to see her as Annie in person, just on TV. I saw all of the other Broadway Annie’s, with the exception of her.
I just wanted you to know that “Annie” is the reason I am doing what I do. I saw the show when I was 11 years old and instantly developed a love for live theatre. I attended school in New York and decided that I didn’t want to perform, but a great way for me to be involved creatively, was through casting. I have since formed my own company. I had the good fortune to chat with Thom Meehan and thanked him for “Annie.” He is such a great man and seemed genuinely interested in the fact that “Annie” helped with my choice of careers.
I am a long-time fan of “Annie” and was thrilled to find your site. The first Annie I ever saw was Mary K. Lombardi. I was happy to learn that Mary is still singing. Please let her know how much I enjoyed her performance as Annie. She hooked me for life. Thanks for making the site and keep up the good work.
In 1982, I was 8 years old and won our local Little Orphan Annie Look-A-Like contest. I won tickets to see the National Tour, which starred Rhodes Reason, Kathleen Freeman and Becky Snyder. Many happy memories. The funniest thing was that I had not looked through my old “Annie” stuff for years and I found the program, which had almost everyone’s autograph. What a great time that was! Thank you for your site. The locals still call me Annie from that contest. It stays with you for a lifetime, even if I wasn’t a performer, “Annie” gets in your soul.
I am from the Philippines and we Filipinos love music. “Annie” songs were one of the first songs I learned when I was a child. I learned and sang for the first time on stage “Tomorrow” at the age of 6.
I want to say I love your website. I am a lover of musical theatre and it all started when I heard a junior high school choir sing the song “Tomorrow” when I was growing up. I had to hear that song again. That led me to getting the Broadway Cast album.
I am undoubtedly an “Annie” fan. The whole “Annie”/Broadway thing fascinates me! I’d just like to say that I think you’re website is incredible and that it’s great hat you (and others) post all those messages on the forum.
Last updated by Julie Stevens Jan 13, 2009.