The Original "Annie," Andrea McArdle, Returns to the Show: Would You Take Your Kids?


You may remember Andrea McArdle as Broadway’s original orphan with a sunny disposition, Annie.  McArdle was only thirteen when she was pushed into the spotlight, when unforeseen circumstances launched her from understudy to star. Since then, she has been a Broadway baby, starring in numerous national tours and revivals. And now, thirty years later, McArdle is returning to the show that made her famous — but not in the role that you may think.

McArdle is playing Miss Hannigan!

That’s right, the girl who will be forever known as the curly-haired redhead has taken on the role of everyone’s favorite headmistress, Miss Hannigan. But, believe her, the role is not easy when you hear someone else singing songs that you made famous. The mom of one (her daughter, Alexis, frequently performs with her) told The Today Show‘s Al Roker that she has to have “really, really heightened focus” in order to avoid slipping back into her old role.

The play, which is being performed at the North Carolina Theatre Company, has been garnering attention, simply because it’s so odd to see little Annie all grown up and playing such a contrasting role. But McArdle is shining and enjoying every moment, calling the show her “legacy,” and seems truly grateful for the opportunities it has brought into her life.

So, what do you think? Do you remember McArdle as Annie? Would you take your kids to see her as Miss Hannigan?


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