NY1 News / On Stage
New Film Looks At Life For Child Stars After “Annie”
(Video Transcript) July 08, 2008
A new documentary explores life after performing on Broadway’s “Annie.” NY1’s Arts reporter Stephanie Simon filed the following report.
An 11-year-old in the Broadway musical “Annie” made the song “Tomorrow” famous during its debut in 1977, and hundreds of young girls have performed this song on Broadway, on the road and even on the big screen.
If you’ve ever wondered whatever happened to the girls who played the famous orphans, a new documentary created by “Annie” alum Julie Stevens, “Life After Tomorrow,” takes an in-depth look at the girls, now all grown-up.
“Well, it sort of came out of a website I put together, called Annieorphans.com, which was just meant to be a fun site to reunite some of the girls and find out what everybody had been doing over the years,” said Stevens. “Through that, we all started to get together and I started to talk to the women and hear some of their stories and I thought that they were important to share.”
The film features appearances by “Annie” alums including Martha Byrne from “As the World Turns” and “Sex and the City” star Sarah Jessica Parker.
But the film isn’t just about the glitz and glamour of stage life — it also addresses the hardships of being a child performer.
“It can be difficult when you’re a child and you’re put into a professional world and you have expectations on you that are adult expectations,” said Stevens. “And so I think sometimes that can create a problem. Some families have never sort of been away from home before, some of the parents didn’t earn as much money as their kids earned, so sometimes it created some tension. But I think that’s sort of par for the course when you enter into show business.”
And even though some days were “gray” and “lonely” behind the scenes, “Annie” composer Charles Strouse says overall the sun shines on the musical’s former stars.
“There is something about these little girls, their aspirations towards adulthood and theatre and all that kind of thing which kind of made it into a very universal experience,” said Strouse.
In other words, the sun came out for their tomorrows.
– Stephanie Simon