Annie Cast Announcement!
The Music Hall and the Ogunquit Playhouse are thrilled to announce the cast of Annie! And we have some familiar faces this year, with Sally Struthers (White Christmas), Gail Bennett (Mary Poppins), and Jeffry Denman (White Christmas) returning to our stage.
Starring as the lead character Annie is Josie Todd who is making her Ogunquit Playhouse debut. She recently performed in Because of Winn Dixie at Goodspeed Musicals and Annie at Casa Mañana. Her many theatre roles include Beauty and the Beast as Chip, The Music Man as Gracie Shinn, The Best Christmas Pageant Ever as Maxine, and Freaky Friday, Jr. as Monica.
Joining the cast as Oliver Warbucks is Robert Newman who is perhaps best known for his 28-year run as Joshua Lewis on the longest running program in broadcasting history, Guiding Light. The role garnered him two Daytime Emmy nominations for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series. He has recently guest starred on House of Cards, Chicago Fire, Homeland, Criminal Minds, NCIS, and Law and Order: SVU. His film credits include Amazing Spider-Man 2, Dracano, and the short film Deadline, which earned him the Best Actor award at the Los Angeles Independent Film Festival in 2015. Off-Broadway credits include Perfect Crime, She’s of a Certain Age, Sessions: The Musical, and Quiet on the Set. Mr. Newman’s most recent regional credits include Sweeney Todd, Big the Musical, Annie, Kiss Me Kate, Hairspray, Noises Off, The Civil War, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf, The Lion In Winter, Disney’s Hunchback of Notre Dame, the world premiere of Naked Influence, Stephen Sondheim’s Putting It Together, Other Desert Cities, Man of La Mancha, Gypsy, Love Letters, Fiddler on the Roof, The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, Deathtrap, Peter Pan, Shenandoah, Curtains, Nine, A Little Night Music, The Full Monty, and Sylvia (which he also directed).
Sally Struthers returns to the seacoast to reprise her role as Miss Hannigan. Ms. Struthers is a two-time Emmy Award and Golden Globe Award winner for her performance in the groundbreaking TV series All in the Family. She starred in the Fox television series 9 to 5 and her own CBS series Gloria. She also recurred on the CBS comedy Still Standing and the CW network’s highly acclaimed Gilmore Girls. She joined the Gilmore cast for Netflix’s four movie limited revival, which premiered in the fall of 2016. She recently guest starred in the acclaimed IFC comedy series Maron. Sally’s television movies include: A Gun in the House, And Your Name is Jonah, The Great Houdinis, Hey, I’m Alive, In the Best Interest of the Children, Deadly Silence, My Husband is Missing, and Intimate Strangers. Sally co-starred in two legendary motion pictures in the 70s: Five Easy Pieces with Jack Nicholson and The Getaway with Steve McQueen and Ali McGraw. Sally’s first two Broadway forays were in Wally’s Café with Rita Moreno and Jimmy Coco and Neil Simon’s female version of The Odd Couple with Brenda Vaccaro. For three years she starred as Miss Mamie Lynch on Broadway and on tour in the Tommy Tune production of Grease. In the 20th Anniversary National Tour of Annie, Sally played the coveted role of Miss Hannigan. Sally was named Best Actress by the Los Angeles Artistic Director Theatre Awards for her role as Louise Seger in the musical, Always, Patsy Cline, a true story based on the relationship between Seger and Cline. She won the Ovation Award as Best Featured Actress in a Musical for her performance as Agnes Gooch in the Los Angeles production of Mame, and won a second Ovation Award for Cinderella. She also won a plaque for “Best Actress” in her 7th Grade Class Play. Additional starring theatre roles include regional productions of Hello, Dolly!, Anything Goes, The Fifth of July, Cat On a Hot Tin Roof, The Full Monty, Fiddler on the Roof, Chicago, All Shook Up, Drowsy Chaperone, Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, 9 To 5, Legally Blonde, Thoroughly Modern Millie, Witches of Eastwick, Nice Work if You Can Get It, Grumpy Old Men the Musical, and 42nd Street.
Ogunquit Playhouse is thrilled to welcome Gail Bennett back to the stage in the role of Grace Farrell. Ms. Bennett has performed in the Ogunquit productions of My Fair Lady as Eliza Doolittle opposite Jefferson Mays, The Sound of Music as Maria opposite Rex Smith, and as the title role in Mary Poppins on both the Ogunquit and The Music Hall stages. She recently performed in the Broadway production of Anastasia, as well as the Broadway First National Tour of Mary Poppins (and six regional productions in the title role). Her many credits include The Producers (Las Vegas, Hollywood Bowl), A Gentleman’s Guide… (Sibella), Kiss Me, Kate (Kate/Lilli), The Drowsy Chaperone (Janet with Sally Struthers), The Music Man (Marian opposite Davis Gaines), Hello, Dolly! (Irene), Sunset Boulevard (Betty), White Christmas (Betty), NINE (Claudia), Annie, Get Your Gun (Annie), Cats (Jellylorum), Starlight Express (Dinah), and A Christmas Carol (Belle with Christopher Lloyd).
Joining the cast as Rooster is Jeffry Denman who has performed, directed, and choreographed at Ogunquit Playhouse. He returns to the seacoast after directing/choreographing the highly acclaimed Ogunquit Playhouse 2018 production of An American in Paris, for which he won an IRNE award as Best Choreographer. He last performed in the 2015 Ogunquit Playhouse production of White Christmas at The Music Hall as Phil Davis. In 2011 he was Director/Choreographer for The Music Man and in 2013 he was the Choreographer for West Side Story, both of which received the Moss Hart Award. In addition, Mr. Denman was the Director/Choreographer for 2012’s Damn Yankees, and portrayed Bobby Child in 2007’s Crazy for You, as well as Sir Robin in 2010’s Spamalot. As an actor he has performed on Broadway in Irving Berlin’s White Christmas (Astaire nom, Phil Davis- Original Broadway Cast), Cats (Munkustrap), The Producers, How To Succeed…, and Dream. His Off-Broadway credits include Kid Victory (Drama Desk/Outer Critics nominations, Michael, Vineyard), YANK! (Drama Desk/Lucille Lortel nominations, Artie, York Theatre), Passion (Lt Barri, CSC), and Cagney (Bob Hope, Westside Theatre). He has also performed in many regional productions throughout the U.S. including Fun Home (Bruce Bechdel, Center Stage), Kid Victory (Helen Hayes nom, Michael, Signature), and Healing Wars (Narrator, La Jolla Playhouse).
Cast as Lily St. Regis is Broadway veteran Angie Schworer. Ms. Schworer has graced the Ogunquit Playhouse stage in several productions including Crazy for You as Irene, Chicago as Roxie, and most recently in Mamma Mia as Tanya. On Broadway she has appeared in The Prom (Angie), Something Rotten, The Producers (Ulla), Big Fish, Catch Me if You Can, Young Frankenstein, Annie Get Your Gun, Chicago, Sunset Boulevard, Crazy For You, and The Will Rogers Follies. At the Met Opera she performed in The Merry Widow as Jou Jou. Her many regional theatre credits include Disaster the Musical (Jackie), Always a Bridesmaid (Monette), Sweet Charity (Nikki ), Damn Yankees (Lola), The Full Monty (Vicki), Minsky’s (Ginger), The Will Rogers Follies (Z’s Fav). On television she has appeared on Rosie O’ Donnell Show, Dana Carvey Show, Law and Order C.I., Queer Eye, As the World Turns, The Kennedy Center Honors and Smash.
Rescue dog, Macy, will be playing Sandy. Macy was adopted by guardian and trainer Bill Berloni from Rocky Spot Rescue of Oklahoma City, OK in December of 2009 at the age of 18 months after seeing her on Petfinder.com. Sandy’s first production of Annie was in the summer of 2010 and since she has starred in dozens of productions nationwide. On Thanksgiving Day 2011, she was seen on NBC during The National Dog Show, sharing spots with John O’Hurley.
Bill Berloni is the top recognized trainer for theatrical animals in the U.S. He received a Tony Award for Excellence in Theatre in 2011, honoring his 30 years of rescuing shelter dogs and humanely training them for a career in the entertainment industry. He is also the recipient of 2014 Outer Critics Circle Special Achievement Award and the 2017 Drama League Award for Unique Contribution to the Theater. Bill Berloni’s animals have appeared in hundreds of Broadway, Off-Broadway and regional theatre productions, tours, movies and television shows all starting with Annie in 1977.
Helming the production of Annie is Director/Choreographer James A. Rocco, an award-winning director whose work has been seen on Broadway, Off-Broadway, throughout the United States, London, Paris and Tokyo. He has directed over 200 productions including the World Premieres of Yankee Doodle Dandy, Galaxy Express 999, The Lillian Carter Story, A Country Christmas Carol, and Streakin’! Others include: 33 Variations, Grey Gardens, Sweeney Todd, White Christmas, Jesus Christ Superstar, In The Heights, As Bees in Honey Drown, Guys & Dolls, She Loves Me, Singin’ in the Rain, and more. In NY, he staged The Wizard of Oz at MSG followed by its 3-year National Tour with Eartha Kitt and Mickey Rooney. From 2005-2017, Rocco was Producing Artistic Director at Ordway Center for the Performing Arts in St. Paul, MN. A recipient of numerous Ct. Critics Circle and Broadway World Awards, in 2019, The Broadway League and The Coalition of Broadway Unions and Guilds recognized his 35 years of contributions to theater at Broadway Salutes. Associate Director/Choreographer is Lisa B. Given.
Music Director for Annie is Andrew Bourgoin. Mr. Bourgoin has worked on the Broadway musical Aladdin, and provided Music Direction for the National Tours of Polkadots: The Cool Kids Musical and MadLibs Live!. He has also provided Music Direction at numerous regional theatres including Ordway Center for the Performing Arts, Chanhassen Dinner Theatres, Hennepin Theatre Trust, Theater Latté Da, and Argyle Theatre. Mr. Bourgoin has played keyboard on the tours of Sound of Music, Something Rotten!, Matilda, and The Little Mermaid.