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Little Orphan Annie is arguably the most famous motherless child in America. Born in 1924, the brainchild of Chicago Tribune cartoonist Harold Gray was a feisty little girl who fought the Nazis, outwitted gangsters and finagled crooked gangsters. Then in 1977, she got her own Broadway show, which ran for 2,377 performances at the Alvin Theatre.

This year, Brooklyn Family Theatre is mounting its own production of "Annie," and some lucky and talented young lady will have a chance to play the septuagenarian but forever-young little girl.

Auditions are scheduled for Jan. 21 and Jan. 22, and director Phill Greenland says he’s specifically looking for Annie, the orphans and Annie’s dog Sandy - all hard roles to cast.

"The orphans and Annie are difficult because they sing up to F, which means their range is an octave and a half," he told GO Brooklyn.

Greenland is also looking for a multiethnic cast.

"I’d love to have an African-American or Hispanic Annie," he said.

As for Sandy, Greenland said, "It’s easy for the dog. He doesn’t have to do a lot. But we need the dog to be tan and medium-sized."

Greenland said he chose the musical because it is both timely and appropriate for his theater company’s audience.

"My preference is the old-fashioned, big song-and-dance musicals. There’s nothing better than ’Annie’ for a musical that’s appropriate for family theater," he said.

After the pure entertainment of "The Pirates of Penzance," Greenland believes Brooklyn Family Theatre is ready for the "serious edge" of "Annie."

"One scene shows Hooverville with homeless people. In another, Annie goes to the White House to help out," he explained. "We [Greenland and co-director Jonathan Valuckas] didn’t realize until we started watching a PBS series about New York history and looked at the 1930s and 1940s, how much those times remind us of the present. Everyone really pulls together after Annie meets the president, which reminded us of Sept. 11, as well."

"Annie" will be staged by Brooklyn Family Theatre at The Church of Gethsemane, 1012 Eighth Ave. at 10th Street in Park Slope, from March 7 through March 30.

So if your child has curly hair and a wide-eyed look, can sing and dance, and has lots of sparkle and energy, call BFT at (718) 670-7205.

Updated 4:00 pm, November 10, 2010
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