NEW YORK, NY, July 19, 2012 - More shelter dogs across the U.S. may soon receive the star treatment thanks to a partnership between PEDIGREE® Food for Dogs and the Tony Award®-winning classic musical, ANNIE. At the heart of the partnership is the shared belief that every dog deserves a loving home, a principle central to the PEDIGREE® Brand’s mission as well as the Broadway production of ANNIE.
Since its 1977 debut, all productions of ANNIE on Broadway have starred real-life shelter dogs as Sandy, Annie’s adopted and loyal companion, with all of the dogs discovered and trained by 2011 Tony® Honor recipient William Berloni. Continuing that tradition, Berloni has found and will train Sunny, a dog rescued from a shelter in Houston, to star as Sandy in the new production of ANNIE. Her understudy, Casey, was rescued from a PEDIGREE- sponsored shelter near the brand’s hometown in Nashville, Tennessee. With the help of PEDIGREE, both dogs playing Sandy are being provided professional nutrition by PEDIGREE® Food for Dogs and trained for their starring role using brand treats.
“We are extremely excited to have the PEDIGREE Brand as our partner because of our shared interest in finding homes for shelter animals,” ANNIE Producer Arielle Tepper Madover said. “ANNIE is about a girl and her dog desperately seeking a place to call home, and we’re hoping Sunny’s story inspires audiences to consider adopting their next pet.”
See the show, help a dog
In a dual effort to promote dog adoption and provide shelters with resources, PEDIGREE and ANNIE have teamed up to help raise $1 million to help dogs find loving homes. For each ANNIE the Musical ticket sold through December 31, 2013, PEDIGREE will donate $2, up to $1 million, to PEDIGREE Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping dogs find loving homes. In addition, co-branded merchandise will be available at the theatre and online with 100 percent of the proceeds going to PEDIGREE Foundation.
“At PEDIGREE, we believe every dog deserves to have a loving home and to be well fed,” PEDIGREE senior brand manager Lisa Campbell said. “Our goal with the ANNIE partnership is to drive awareness of the plight of homeless dogs and raise money to help even more shelter dogs find forever homes.”
ANNIE’s Search for Sandy
Sunny and Casey’s journey from hard-knock shelter life to center stage as Sandy will be documented in a 30-minute TV special, "Annie's Search for Sandy," set to air on the NBC Owned Television Stations in October 2012. The special is being produced by Al Roker Entertainment and ANNIE Broadway LLC and is sponsored by PEDIGREE. It features 2011 Tony® Honor recipient William Berloni who is providing the raining for Sunny and Casey. Berloni works exclusively with rescued dogs and trained Sandy for the original 1977 Broadway production.
About the PEDIGREE® Brand
The PEDIGREE® Brand is the number one brand of dog food in the world, offering a wide variety of products for different dog life stages. As an innovative market leader, the PEDIGREE® Brand is at the forefront of pet nutrition and understands pet owner needs by providing a range of innovative products and resources. For more information, please visit www.Pedigree.com
About PEDIGREE Foundation
Created in 2008 and headquartered in Franklin, Tenn., PEDIGREE Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping dogs in need find loving homes by supporting the good work of shelters and dog rescue organizations throughout the country. The foundation provides grants to 501(c)(3) shelters and dog rescue organizations nationwide and encourages dog lovers to adopt, volunteer and donate to support the cause. Since 2008, close to $4 million has been granted to help more than 1,100 shelters and rescues. For more information about PEDIGREE Foundation, log on to www.pedigreefoundation.org
About ANNIE THE MUSICAL
ANNIE, the new production of the classic Tony Award®-winning musical, is now on sale. For tickets, call 877-250- 2929 or visit Ticketmaster.com
. The production begins previews on October 3 at the Palace Theatre (1567 Broadway at 47th Street). Opening night is Thursday, November 8.
ANNIE features a Tony Award®-winning score with music by Charles Strouse, lyrics by Martin Charnin and a Tony Award®-winning book by Thomas Meehan, based on the newspaper comic strip “Little Orphan Annie” by Harold Gray. The new production of ANNIE is directed by three-time Tony Award®-winner James Lapine and choreographed by Tony Award®-winner Andy Blankenbuehler.
ANNIE stars two-time Tony Award® winner Katie Finneran as Miss Hannigan, Australian star Anthony Warlow making his Broadway debut as Daddy Warbucks and 11-year-old Lilla Crawford as Annie, with Brynn O’Malley as Grace Farrell, Clarke Thorell as Rooster Hannign and J. Elaine Marcos as Lily St. Regis. The orphans are Madi Rae DiPietro as July, Georgi James as Pepper, Junah Jang as Tessie, Tyrah Skye Odoms as Kate, Taylor Richardson as Duffy, Emily Rosenfeld as Molly and Jaidyn Young as standby for the roles of Annie, Pepper, Duffy and July. The production also features Ashley Blanchet, Jane Blass, Jeremy Davis, Merwin Foard, Joel Hatch, Amanda Lea LaVergne, Gavin Lodge, Liz McCartney, Desi Oakley, David Rossetti, Sarah Solie, Dennis Stowe and Ryan VanDenBoom.
ANNIE will be produced on Broadway by Arielle Tepper Madover, Roger Horchow, Sally Horchow, Roger Berlind, Roy Furman, Debbie Bisno, Stacey Mindich, Nederlander Presentations, Inc., Jane Bergère/Daryl Roth and Eva Price/Christina Papagjika.
Follow ANNIE on Twitter: @AnnieOnBroadway and on Facebook
About NBC Owned Television Stations
NBC Owned Television Stations is the division of NBCUniversal that includes 10 local television stations and their digital channels and websites, as well as a group of out-of-home properties and a production company. The 10 stations produce and deliver compelling and unique local news, information and entertainment programming to viewers in the communities they serve, which include New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, San Francisco Bay Area, Dallas-Fort Worth, Washington, D.C., Miami, San Diego and Connecticut, with a goal of connecting to their audiences anytime and anywhere.