The characters in Annie’s music play are the orphans from Miss Hannigan’s infamous orphanage. While the exact order of their ages may vary, the youngest orphan is always Molly (or July), followed by Pepper, Tessie, Kate, and Duffy.
The original Broadway production starred Andrea McArdle as the title character and Reid Shelton as Mr. Warbucks. Also appearing on stage were Sandy Faison as Grace Farrell, Robert Fitch as Rooster Hannigan, and Diana Barrows as Tessie.
Kristen Vigard was originally cast as the red-haired orphan, but her genuinely sweet interpretation of Annie was not enough for producers. So she was replaced by McArdle, who had been playing another orphan, Pepper.
In the 1997 Broadway revival, Miss Hannigan got her solo song, “You Make Me Happy,” which she sang at the end of Act One when she informed Grace that she would leave the orphanage for Oliver Warbucks’s attention and money.
Characters of the musical play
Miss Hannigan / Evil Orphanage Lady
She is the evil headmistress of the orphanage where Annie lives. She drinks, mistreats the girls under her care, and talks about how she hates little girls. She later hatches a crooked get-rich-quick scheme with her brother, Rooster, and his girlfriend, Lily.
In the original script, Miss Hannigan spanks Annie with a paddle when she catches her trying to run away from the orphanage. This scene was cut in later productions.
In the comic version of the story, Hannigan has a stern personality and is often unfriendly toward orphans. The stage version has a more gentle side to her, though she does despise her staff.
The telecast has a scene where Miss Hannigan promotes herself and Warbucks to a radio show, and a line is spoofing the song “Maybe.” This is a great role for an understudy or a young child who can be flexible about her accent.
The 2021 telecast mixes Bert Healy and Fred, the ventriloquist; Wacky the puppet joins the ensemble during the number “Never Fully Dressed.” This is a good spot for someone who can sing and act well.
The orphans are glamorous and can be split into singing solos, but you can cast multiple girls for this role. They are a perfect place for kids to start as a non-speaking part and a good way to get them used to perform onstage.
President Franklin D. Roosevelt
As a kid, Annie looked up to FDR and was inspired by his optimism. She eventually tries to convince Warbucks that he needs to help him find her parents. This is a good spot for a child with a good singing voice who can act well.
When Warbucks is searching for Annie’s parents, he is helped by Louis Howe. This is a great role for a child who can act well and sing confidently, but it is also a good spot to double-cast as other characters.