Broadway at the National will be presenting the classic musical “Annie” opening on January 23, 2023. The seven-time, Tony Award-winning (including Best Musical, Best Original Score, and Best Book of a Musical) show ran on Broadway in 1977 and ran for six years. It has had two revivals in New York, numerous regional productions, and three movies based on the musical as well. Jenn Thompson will direct this production of “Annie” with book by Thomas Meehan, music by Charles Strouse, and lyrics by Martin Charnin. “Annie” is based on the 1924 comic strip, “Little Orphan Annie,” which ran in newspapers with several cartoonists taking the helm after the originator Harold Gray died in 1968.
The plot revolves around Annie who lives in an orphanage with other young girls which is run by the abusive and often intoxicated Miss Hannigan. The very wealthy Daddy Warbucks opens his home to one of the orphans at Christmastime and his secretary, Grace Farrel, picks Annie. She falls in love with Annie, and, spoiler alert, so does Daddy Warbucks. There are several wonderful, and now iconic, musical numbers including “It’s a Hard Knock Life” and “Tomorrow.”
The cast at the National includes Rainier (Rainey) Trevino as Annie, Stefanie Londino as Miss Hannigan, Christopher Swan as Oliver “Daddy” Warbucks, Julia Nicole Hunter as Grace Farrell, Jeffrey T. Kelly as “Rooster” Hannigan along with Samantha Stevens and Mark Woodard. The orphans include Savannah Austin, Arianna Guller, Avery Hope, Addie Jaymes, Kylie Noelle Patterson, and Jade Smith. Sandy, that sweet dog of Annie’s, is played by Seamus.
Julie Nicole Hunter is thrilled to be returning to Annie as Grace Farrell. She is originally from Nashville, TN but is currently based in New York City. Previous credits include “In the Heights” (Nina) at the Walnut Street Theatre; “The Color Purple” (Nettie); “Nunsense” (Sister Amnesia); and a principal vocalist for “Burn The Floor” and Norwegian Cruise Lines.
What type of formal performing arts training do you have either in acting, music (voice) or dance?
I went to musical theatre college at AMDA in New York City for formal training in 2011.
How is your character, Grace Farrell, like you and how is she different from you?
Grace and I share the same passion for helping those we love. She is kind and I try to lead with kindness daily. She is also really silly as the show progresses and I am so silly in life. I think the differences are that she submerges herself in her work to run away from things some times, and I don’t do that in real life.
What is your favorite musical number in the show?
My favorite to perform is “Like It Here” and my favorite to watch is “Something Was Missing” because Rainey and Chris have such a beautiful progression throughout the show and this song is the moment Warbucks’ heart fully melts for Annie.
Other than Grace Farrell what has been your most memorable role?
Nina in “In the Heights” at The Walnut Street Theater in Philadelphia.
Is there a part in a show (present or past) that you would like to do one day?
Sarah in “Ragtime” and Jenna in “Waitress” are dream roles.
“Annie” will be playing at The National, 1321 Pennsylvania Ave., NW, Washington DC 20004 from January 23-28 at 7:30 pm and, on Saturday and Sunday, there is an additional 2 pm matinee. For more information and to purchase tickets, go online.