Girl, 11, wins role as Annie on Broadway


Lilla Crawford, 11, will play the starring role in a revival of the award-winning musical "Annie.” (BONEAU/BRYAN-BROWN VIA ASSOCIATED PRESS)
May 3, 2012

Broadway’s newest Annie is an 11-year-old from California with long, black curly hair who has already performed in New York City’s famous Broadway theater district.

Lilla Crawford will play the title role when the award-winning musical “Annie” returns to New York City.

“I’m not nervous, but I am definitely so excited to start the whole process,” Lilla said about being in the revival. “It’s going to be so fun.”

Lilla has performed in more than a dozen shows with theater groups in California, including “Annie.” She appeared on Broadway last year playing Debbie in the play “Billy Elliot.” That experience will help as she adjusts to being a star.

“I kind of know what’s coming, but it’s going to be exciting and new because I’m going to be part of the original cast,” she said. “It’s definitely going to be exciting. That’s one thing I know for sure.”

The musical is the story of an orphan girl growing up during the Great Depression who finds happiness with a grouchy millionaire and a lovable dog.

Lilla beat out more than 5,000 other little girls to play Annie during a coast-to-coast search that lasted for nine months. After her first audition in New York City, she had five or six callbacks, the final one with a dozen girls.

“I’m incredibly proud of her,” said Lilla’s mother, AnneMerie Donoghue. “I’m in awe of her. She comes from a different planet from me. It’s the Talented and Gifted Planet.”

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