HomeGuideBroadway's Annies: Where are they now?

Broadway’s Annies: Where are they now?

It is a incredibly exclusive club: actresses who performed the lead function in the musical “Annie” throughout its original Broadway run. “Sunday Morning” caught up with them at a 40th reunion of the show’s debut:  

Prior to the show’s opening on Broadway, Kristen Vigard was the initially Annie when the show premiered at the Goodspeed Opera Residence in Haddam, Conn., on Aug. ten, 1976.

Kristen Vigard, who originated the function prior to the show opened on Broadway.

CBS News

She was born on Mat 15, 1962, in St. Paul, Minn, and was one particular of the initially kid models signed by Ford Modeling Agency right after her family members moved to New York City.

She produced her stage debut in 1970 when she worked with La MaMa Experimental Theatre Club, in Charles Mingus III’s “A Cheap Trick,” in which she played a carrot. She later appeared in La Mama’s “100 Miles From Nowhere,” and “The Wedding Band” with Ruby Dee.

Vigard told CBS News that when she was young, she seriously wanted to turn into a physician. “This is something I did for fun when I was a kid,” she mentioned.

So she had mixed feelings when, right after a handful of weeks of playing the lead in “Annie” throughout the show’s out-of-town tryouts, she was told she was, in impact, also sweet to play the scrappy small orphan. She mentioned, “I cried a lot,” when told she was getting dropped from the starring function. “I was just humiliated, but I was kind of excited to go home.”

Kristen went on to be the understudy for her replacement, Andrea McArdle, on Broadway.

Later, she played Crissy in a 1977 Broadway revival of “Hair,” and in 1979 starred with Liv Ullman in the Richard Rodgers-Martin Charnin musical, “I Remember Mama.”

Kristen Vigard.


Vigard’s subsequent Television and film credits integrated “Home to Stay” with Henry Fonda, “The Black Stallion,” “The Survivors,” “The Equalizer,” “Amazing Stories,” and the soap operas “Guiding Light” and “One Life to Live.”

Pursuing a music profession, Vigard recorded and toured with the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Fishbone. She recorded her personal eponymous album in 1988, which charted in the Leading 30, and released “God, Loves & Angels” in 2006. She was also a founding member of the band New White Trash.

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She has continued to seem on stage in Taos, N.M., exactly where she lives with her husband and daughter.

Andrea McArdle and the cast of “Annie.”

Martha Swope/NYPL, Billy Rose Theatre Division

The original Broadway Annie, Andrea McArdle, was born on November five, 1963 in Philadelphia. She had spent extra than two years on “Search for Tomorrow,” produced extra than 20 Television commercials, and appeared in a number of Television pilots prior to she was cast in “Annie” as Pepper. She was then abruptly pulled from the chorus and offered the starring function to replace Vigard. 

“We all knew everybody’s lines; kids always do. You know they do,” McArdle told Nancy Giles. “And so I was told on a Sunday night that I was going to be taking over the role Tuesday.”

Right after performing in the Goodspeed Opera Residence and the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., McArdle opened on Broadway and on April 21, 1977 stole the theater world’s heart. At 13 she became the youngest performer to be nominated for a Tony as Very best Lead Actress in a Musical (she would shed to co-star Dorothy Loudon), and won the Theatre Globe and Outer Critics’ Circle Awards. She then performed the function in London.

Andrea McArdle.


In 1978 she played the young Judy Garland in the Television film “Rainbow.”

McArdle’s later Broadway credits integrated Fantine in “Les Misérables,” “Starlight Express,” “State Fair,” and Belle in “Beauty and the Beast.” 

She also toured in “Jerry’s Girls” with Carol Channing and Leslie Uggams, “Singin’ in the Rain,” “Meet Me in St. Louis,” “The Fantasticks,” “Grease,” “Cabaret,” “They’re Playing Our Song,” and “Annie Get Your Gun.” 

She also played the function of Miss Hannigan in regional productions of “Annie.”

Shelley Bruce as Annie.

Martha Swope/NYPL, Billy Rose Theatre Division

Shelley Bruce, who produced her film debut at age seven as an additional in “The Godfather,” appeared in dozens of Television commercials, and was an understudy in a Broadway production of “The Innocents,” prior to originating the function of the orphan Kate although also serving as understudy for McArdle. 

She took more than the function of Annie in 1978, and starred in the show till 1979. She later appeared in the horror film, “The Burning.”

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In 1981, at age 16, she was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia, and underwent chemotherapy and radiation remedies at Manhattan’s Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.

Shelley Bruce.

CBS News

For six weeks, McArdle visited Bruce in the hospital right after she performed her nightclub act at the St. Regis Hotel. “She made her own visiting hours,” Bruce mentioned. “She would literally come at one o’clock in the morning, and we would take my IV pole, get sesame chicken out of the machine in the cafeteria. We would sit and hang out.”

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With the cancer in remission, Bruce joined McArdle, Allison Smith and Sarah Jessica Parker to sing at a Kennedy Center tribute to “Annie” in 1982, but left show company afterwards. A soccer mom in New Jersey, Bruce began promoting knitted scarves and blankets beneath the name Amethyst Soteria, with a percentage of proceeds going to pediatric cancer study.

Sarah Jessica Parker.

Martha Swope/NYPL, Billy Rose Theatre Division

Right after Sarah Jessica Parker saw the Broadway show, her stepfather was brutally truthful: “He said to me, ‘You know, you’re not Annie material at all.’ He was trying to prepare me that this fantasy should just be this audience experience.” But she auditioned anyway, and became the third Broadway Annie.

Born March 25, 1965, in Nelsonville, Ohio, Parker studied dance at the American Ballet College and the Expert Children’s College. She appeared on Broadway in “The Innocents,” prior to taking the Annie plunge.

Her Television credits integrated “3-2-1 Contact,” “Square Pegs,” and “A Year in the Life.”

Parker would win 4 Golden Globes for her starring function in the HBO series “Sex and the City,” a character she recreated in two theatrical films.

Sarah Jessica Parker.

Bryan Bedder/Getty

Back on stage in New York, Parker appeared on Broadway in “The Heidi Chronicles,” “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying,” and “Once Upon a Mattress.” She also appeared in “To Gillian on Her 37th Birthday,” “The Substance of Fire,” “Sylvia,” “Wonder of the World” and “The Commons of Pensacola.”

Her film credits involve “Flashdance,” “Firstborn,” “Girls Just Want to Have Fun,” “L.A. Story,” “Honeymoon in Vegas,” “Hocus Pocus,” “Ed Wood,” “Miami Rhapsody,” and “State and Main.”

Not too long ago she returned to HBO in the series “Divorce.”

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Allison Smith, raised in Bergen County, N.J., was the youngest and the longest-operating Broadway Annie. She was ten years old when she attended an open audition for the show (right after getting appeared in nearby productions of “Gypsy” and “The Sound of Music” and in the chorus of “Evita”) and won the function. 

Allison Smith.

Martha Swope/NYPL, Billy Rose Theatre Division

More than 3 years starting in April 1980, she appeared in extra than 1,000 performances.

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Her later tv roles integrated Jennie Lowell, the daughter of Jane Curtin, in “Kate & Allie” and Mallory O’Brien, daughter of the White Residence Chief of Employees, in “The West Wing.” 

Other credits integrated “Homicide: Life on the Street,” “Touched by an Angel,” “Murder, She Wrote,” “Buddy Faro,” “The X-Files,” “The Closer,” “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation,” and “Family Guy.”

She also starred in the 2004 miniseries “Helter Skelter” as Manson Household member Patricia Krenwinkel. Film roles integrated “Holes,” “Switchback” and “Ordinary Miracles.”

In Los Angeles she starred in the premiere production of David Mamet’s “Oleanna,” and in “QED.” She also performed with Randy Newman in his musical, “The Education of Randy Newman,” at South Coast Rep. She has also sung at Carnegie Hall, Radio City Music Hall and The White Residence.

Alyson Kirk as Annie.

Martha Swope/NYPL, Billy Rose Theatre Division

Born in Jan. 14, 1970 (and hailing from the identical New Jersey town exactly where Allison Smith grew up), Alyson Kirk produced her qualified stage debut in the third national firm of “Annie,” prior to joining the Broadway cast as the orphan Kate and understudy for Smith. She then took on the lead function herself. 

She was 12 when the show closed on January two, 1983, producing her the final Annie throughout the show’s original Broadway run.

In 1985 she returned to Broadway in the musical “Take Me Along.” Her Television credits involve the film “It Came Upon a Midnight Clear” and “The Equalizer.”

She later studied nutrition at Syracuse University, and is now a nutritionist and wellness coach.

The “Annie” reunion. Leading row: Kristen Vigard, Allison Smith and Alyson Kirk. Bottom row: Andrea McArdle, Shelley Bruce and Sarah Jessica Parker.

CBS News

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