Leapin’ lizards!

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Leapin’ Lizards! America’s most beloved musical, Annie, is back, giving a whole new generation the chance to experience this classic musical about never giving up hope. “I can remember seeing the show when I was much younger,” said actor Harry Turpin during a phone interview with O&AN.

Turpin plays Harold Ickes in addition to being a member of the ensemble in the hit show. “It’s so exciting to be a part of the show now because I get the distinct privilege of working alongside some of the original creators. It’s always amazing when I’m onstage and the crowd really gets it. Everyone in the crowd can relate and there are a lot of really heartfelt moments for everyone.

The timeless tale of Little Orphan Annie stars Conrad John Schuck and Mackenzie Phillips, with newcomer Marissa O’Donnell in the title role. With one of the most treasured scores in Broadway history, Annie is a delightful theatrical experience for the family.

“Who doesn’t love Annie?” said Kathleen O’Brien, TPAC’s president and CEO. “We hope entire families come to share in the magic of this remarkable, stunning and timeless production. I guarantee they’ll be singing their way home!”

Annie, with music by Charles Strouse and book by Thomas Meehan, is again directed by its lyricist, Martin Charnin, who brought the original production of Annie to Broadway in 1977. Tony Award-winning set designer, Ming Cho Lee, has created a fresh look for this new production.

The original Broadway production of Annie won seven 1977 Tony Awards, including Best Musical, Book and Score. It ran for 2,377 performances, and subsequently has been produced all over the world. The original production is one of the top 20 longest running shows in Broadway history, and Annie continues to be one of the most successful musicals ever.

Boasting one of Broadway’s most memorable scores, including “It’s the Hard-Knock Life,” “Easy Street,” “N.Y.C.” and the ever optimistic “Tomorrow,” you can bet your bottom dollar that Annie will bring a smile to your face.

Annie will stage at TPAC’s Andrew Jackson Hall May 16-21. Tickets for Annie range from $18-69 depending upon performance times and seat locations. For tickets, visit the TPAC Box Office (Downtown or at Davis-Kidd Booksellers in The Mall at Green Hills), online at www.tpac.org, or any Ticketmaster outlet. Tickets may also be purchased by calling Ticketmaster at 615/255-ARTS (2787). For information on offers for groups of 15 or more, call TPAC Group Sales at 615/782-4060. TPAC’s Kids’ Night on Broadway performance will be Wednesday, May 17 at 7:30 p.m. Purchase tickets to this performance and enjoy free family activities in Jackson Hall Lobby beginning at 6:00 p.m.

TPAC Education’s adult program, InsideOut, invites the public to attend the Annie Arts Appetizer on Wednesday, May 17, at TPAC’s Polk Theater Lobby from 6:15-7:00 p.m. Participants will get to meet the dog who plays Sandy, and her handler – and companion – on the road. Space is limited for this free, public event, so call 615-687-4291 to RSVP or visit www.tpac.org/education for more information.

TPAC Education presents an Annie workshop for children ages 8 to 13 on Saturday, May 20, at 10:00 a.m. in TPAC’s Johnson Theater. This interactive workshop will focus on acting for musical theater, and participants will learn music and choreography from a member of the cast. Space is limited for this workshop, which costs $30 per child and $5 per chaperone. Call 615-687-4291 for more information.