Nine-Year-Old Issie Swickle Has Many Bright Tomorrows Ahead

Annie2(PCM) Nine-year-old Issie Swickle already knows what it often takes other actresses years to find out – without family support the road to stardom can be extremely bumpy.

Swickle, from Davie, Florida, is making her national tour debut as Annie, and while she likes to be “just a regular kid” she finds touring the country with her mom, is a dream come true.

She is able to balance school, friendships, family life and her passion for acting, singing and dancing, as she does so well in the current production of “Annie.” Swickle said she has been on tour with “Annie” for six months, and recently signed on until December.

This national touring production of “Annie, which boasts a 25-member cast, is part of Broadway Philadelphia, from March 17-22, at the Academy of Music in Philadelphia.

Directed by original lyricist and director Martin Charnin for the 19th time, the current production is a new physical incarnation of the iconic Tony Award winning original. Broadway Philadelphia is presented collaboratively by the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts and the Shubert Organization.

Annie has a book by Thomas Meehan, music by Charles Strouse and lyrics by Martin Charnin. All three authors received 1977 Tony Awards for their work. The choreography for this show is done by Liza Gennaro, who will incorporate selections from her father Peter Gennaro’s 1977 Tony Award-winning choreography.

The original production of “Annie” opened April 21, 1977 at the Alvin Theatre and went on to win the New York Drama Critics Circle Award for Best Musical, seven Drama Desk Awards including Best Musical, the Grammy for Best Cast Show Album and seven Tony Awards.

The show remains one of the biggest Broadway musical hits ever. It ran for 2,377 performances after it first opened, and has been performed in 28 languages and has run onstage somewhere around the world for 37 years.

Swickle said that she thoroughly enjoys working with the two dogs who play Sandy in the show, (Sunny and Macy), and their trainer, William Berloni. He has trained many of the Sandy’s in past productions as well as other stage productions and films. All of his dogs are adopted from rescue operations.

The beloved score for Annie includes “Maybe,” “It’s the Hard Knock Life,” “You’re Never Fully Dressed Without a Smile,” “Easy Street,” “I Don’t Need Anything But You,” and the eternal anthem of optimism, “Tomorrow.”

Q: Please tell me what it’s like playing the leading role of Annie in this production?

ISSIE SWICKLE: I love being able to travel around the country and see all of these amazing places. I am getting a lot of exposure, too, if I ever want to do a TV show.

Q: Do you have advice for young girls who want an acting career or what to do or not do?

IS: First of all; always be yourself. Listen to your directors and others in the show, and do exactly what they say. Don’t be shy. Be yourself. They are not there to judge you; they are there to support you. When you audition be focused, listen to their advice and be yourself. And most of all have fun.

Q: I hear that the mom’s on the tour have sacrificed a lot for their daughters. Talk about your mom, Dana, who tours with you and has supported you ever step of the way.

IS: She is the best mom on the planet. She has shoulder problems and is still doing everything she possibly can for me and my career. I don’t know any other mom who would do all of this. I am really grateful for her, and for my dad. They are business owners and he works extra hard so she can tour with me.

Q: What is the best advice you have received from your mom?

IS: Be myself, have fun and don’t let people bring me down. She has also said, ‘If you work hard, good things happen.’

Q: Do you feel that family support is of major importance?

IS: Yes. I am grateful for my entire family. My brother, Max, is 13 and he is the best brother on earth. He has sacrificed so much for me and is so supportive of me. Each of them has supported me and sacrificed so much for me to be able to do this.

Q: Why did you want to become an actress?

IS: I saw my brother, Max, in the play Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and it looked like great fun. I went to camp for training, the best camp on earth. It’s called Broadway Kids in Florida and it’s near where I live.

Q: Do you want to keep acting?

IS: Yes. Definitely. But if acting doesn’t work out when I am older I would like to be a veterinarian, or a doctor. I love playing with animals. People have done nice things for me, so I want to do nice things for them.

Q: So are you a normal kid even with all of your success?

IS: I would say that I am. I am making my own lunch, cutting up chicken.

Q: Do you go to school or have tutors?

IS: Both. When I am home I go to school. On the set I have a tutor. Jessica is my tutor right now.

Q: What’s your best school subject?

IS: I have a few – science, math or reading

Q: Have you seen the musical of Annie on Broadway?

IS: Yes, I was a big fan of the Broadway show, it’s very cool. The set is kind of different from our version.

Q: What did you think of the new movie version, which came out before Christmas, with Jamie Foxx, Cameron Diaz and Quvenzhane Wallis as Annie?

IS: It was really good; I liked it. It was really different from our version. It was a more modern version.

Q: Are your school friends interested in theater or acting?

IS: No, they are just regular kids.

Q: How do you hang out with your girlfriends?

IS: When I’m on tour I hang out with [girls who play] the orphans in the show. When were not acting we like to make music videos and go swimming.

Q: Speaking of music – what kind of music do you enjoying listening to?

IS: Anna Kendrick, Demi Levato, Selena Gomzez, and others, too.

Q: What is your favorite song in the show?

IS: I can’t pick one. I have three: Tomorrow, Maybe and Anything But You.

Q: Do you enjoy movies? What have you seen lately?

IS: I want to see “Into the Woods” again. Meryl Streep is really good; I also saw it on Broadway and loved it.

Q: Tell me about working with the dog who plays Sandy in the show.

IS: It is so much fun. I love dogs and have three at home. I get to see how they train the dogs and that is really cool.

Q: What do you think is the message of the play?

IS: Hope, that’s what I want people to get out of it. It’s a sad story, but it becomes a happy story because Annie gets adopted. Annie brings happiness and joy to the people around her. It’s such an amazing story. I just love her. I think that people will get a lot out of her; she’s a wonderful character.

For tickets or information go to www.anniethemusical.com or facebook.com/anniethemusical

The post Nine-Year-Old Issie Swickle Has Many Bright Tomorrows Ahead also appeared on Movie News & Reviews.

Bruce Willis Is Headed To Broadway In “Misery”

Bruce-Willis1

(PCM) Actor Bruce Willis will be making his Broadway debut this fall in the upcoming adaption of the Stephen King novel “Misery”. “Misery” was also adapted into a film back in 1990 which starred Kathy Bates and James Caan.

Willis will star as the bedridden novelist, Paul Sheldon, that was played by Caan in the film version and the iconic role of the psychotic fan Annie Wilkes will be taken on by theater star Elizabeth Marvel.  According to the New York Times, “The play is by William Goldman, who wrote the screenplay for ‘Misery’ (based on the Stephen King novel) and won Academy Awards for his film scripts for ‘Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid’ and ‘All the President’s Men”

Will Frears will direct the upcoming play, which he premiered back in 2012 at the Bucks County Playhouse in New Hope, Pennsylvania.  At this time no dates or theater information have been announced for the Broadway show.

The post Bruce Willis Is Headed To Broadway In “Misery” also appeared on Movie News & Reviews.

Jennifer Nettles Set To Make Her Broadway Debut In Chicago The February!

Jennifer-Nettles1(PCM) As announced this morning on NBC “Today,” Grammy Award-winning singer/songwriter and international music superstar Jennifer Nettles will make her Broadway debut this February in the Tony Award-winning, record-breaking hit musical CHICAGO.

Nettles joins the Broadway company in the starring role of Roxie Hart for a limited eight-week engagement — Monday, February 2through Sunday, March 29, 2015 at the Ambassador Theatre (219 W. 49th St.)

“Broadway has always been a special, magical place, with a wonderful tradition of singers and actors,” said Jennifer Nettles. “I feel honored and proud to be part of this great tradition. Taking on such an iconic role as Roxie in CHICAGO is a dream come true.”

“We’re absolutely thrilled to welcome Jennifer into our CHICAGO family this winter,” said producer Barry Weissler. “Her sensational talent and musicianship will no doubt make this an extraordinary Broadway debut engagement. I can’t wait for our audiences to experience her interpretation Roxie Hart.”

Jennifer Nettles has become one of the most popular singer-songwriters in music today and recently had a #1 Country Album with her solo debut CD “That Girl.” As the lead vocalist of the country group Sugarland, the band exploded onto the music scene in 2004 and have worldwide sales of over 22 million (albums and singles) to date, have achieved eight No. 1 singles and have won numerous awards including trophies from the Grammys, AMAs, ACM Awards, CMT Music Awards and CMA Awards.

With a legendary score by John Kander and Fred Ebb, and a book by Fred Ebb and Bob Fosse, CHICAGO is now the longest-running American musical in Broadway history — and it shows no sign of ever slowing down!

The post Jennifer Nettles Set To Make Her Broadway Debut In Chicago The February! appeared first on .

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There’s A Whole Lot of Singing in the New Trailer for “The Last 5 Years”

TheLast5Years(PCM) The first trailer for RADiUS’ dramedy musical, The Last 5 Years, starring Anna Kendrick and Jeremy Jordan in the last 5 years of the young hopeful couple’s failed marriage.

The trailer, clocking in at a little over two minutes, features both Kendrick and Jordan singing their hearts out and is a good tip-off that The Last 5 Years will probably be most enjoyed by someone who is a huge fan of musicals.

Written and directed by Richard LaGravenese (P.S. I Love You), The Last 5 Years is the film adaptation of Jason Robert Brown’s musical based on his own failed marriage to Theresa O’Neill.

Showcasing the talents of Anna Kendrick (Up in the Air, Pitch Perfect) and Jeremy Jordan (Six by Soundheim, Joyful Noise), both seasoned actors with great voices and prior Broadway experience, The Last 5 Years opens in select theaters starting February 13, 2015.

Read the official synopsis for The Last 5 Years, this year’s winner of the Chicago International Film Festival Audience Choice Award, and watch the official trailer below!

“The Last 5 Years” by Tony award winning composer and lyricist Jason Robert Brown is a musical deconstruction of a love affair and a marriage taking place over a five year period. Jamie Wellerstein is a young, talented up and coming Jewish novelist who falls in love with Cathy Hiatt, a Shiksa Goddess struggling actress.

Their story is told almost entirely through songs using an intercutting time line device; all of Cathy’s songs begin at the end of their marriage and move backwards in time to thebeginning of their love affair while Jamie’s songs start at the beginning of their affair and move forward to the end of their marriage. They meet in the center when Jamie proposes.

The post There’s A Whole Lot of Singing in the New Trailer for “The Last 5 Years” also appeared on PCM Reviews.

Emily Blunt and James Cordon Lose the Cow in New Clip from Disney’s Into the Woods

IntoTheWoods(PCM) Awards season is upon us and with awards season comes rampant speculation as to which movie is going to be nominated for what award ; Disney’s musical Into the Woods is at the top of many pundits’ lists for at least the Academy Award for Best Original Song.

Walt Disney Pictures has released a new clip leading up to Into the Woods‘ Christmas Day release, giving fans more footage of the interaction between Meryl Streep as the Witch and James Cordon and Emily Blunt as the Baker and Baker’s Wife. 

The Witch gives the Baker and his wife a scare after they lose their cow, a crucial part of the magic needed to lift a curse. Watch the new clip below!

Into the Woods is a modern twist on several of the beloved Brothers Grimm fairy tales, intertwining the plots of a few choice stories and exploring the consequences of the characters’ wishes and quests.

This humorous and heartfelt musical follows the classic tales of Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, Jack and the Beanstalk, and Rapunzel—all tied together by an original story involving a baker and his wife, their wish to begin a family, and their interaction with the witch who has put a curse on them. 

Into the Woods stars Meryl Streep as The Witch, James Corden and Emily Blunt as the Baker and Baker’s Wife, Anna Kendrick as Cinderella, Chris Pine as Cinderella’s Prince, Johnny Depp as The Wolf.

Also starring in the film are Lilla Crawford as Red Riding Hood, Daniel Huttlestone as Jack, Tracey Ullman as Jack’s Mother, Christine Baranski as Cinderella’s Stepmother, MacKenzie Mauzy as Rapunzel, Billy Magnussen as Rapunzel’s Prince, Tammy Blanchard as Florinda, Lucy Punch as Lucinda, Frances de la Tour as The Giant, Simon Russell Beale as The Baker’s Father, Joanna Riding as Cinderella’s Mother, and Annette Crosbie as Grandmother.

Into the Woods is directed by Rob Marshall (Chicago, Memoirs of a Geisha) and based on the Tony Award winning play by James Lapine and Stephen Soundheim.

Lapine wrote the screenplay for the film and Soundheim is credited with the music and lyrics, so musical/Broadway fans alike should have something exciting to look forward to this winter!

Watch the trailer for the Disney musical below and visit the official Facebook page for more info!

Into the Woods opens in theaters nationwide December 25, 2014.

The post Emily Blunt and James Cordon Lose the Cow in New Clip from Disney’s Into the Woods also appeared on PCM Reviews.

First Full Look at Johnny Depp as The Wolf in Disney’s ‘Into the Woods’

EWIntotheWoods(PCM) Johnny Depp, no stranger to outlandish and outrageous make-up and costumes, has finally revealed his full look for Disney’s film adaption of Stephen Soundheim and James Lapin’s Tony award-winning Broadway musical, Into the Woods, on the cover of this week’s Entertainment Weekly.

Until now, fans have only been able to catch a fleeting glimpse of Depp as the Wolf in the film’s trailers, but now thanks to EW, you can catch a full look at the Academy Award nominated actor decked out in furs, bushy eyebrows, and a spindly mustache.

Into the Woods is a modern twist on several of the beloved Brothers Grimm fairy tales, intertwining the plots of a few choice stories and exploring the consequences of the characters’ wishes and quests.

This humorous and heartfelt musical follows the classic tales of Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, Jack and the Beanstalk, and Rapunzel—all tied together by an original story involving a baker and his wife, their wish to begin a family, and their interaction with the witch who has put a curse on them. 

Into the Woods stars Meryl Streep as The Witch, James Corden and Emily Blunt as the Baker and Baker’s Wife, Anna Kendrick as Cinderella, Chris Pine as Cinderella’s Prince, Johnny Depp as The Wolf.

Also starring in the film are Lilla Crawford as Red Riding Hood, Daniel Huttlestone as Jack, Tracey Ullman as Jack’s Mother, Christine Baranski as Cinderella’s Stepmother, MacKenzie Mauzy as Rapunzel, Billy Magnussen as Rapunzel’s Prince, Tammy Blanchard as Florinda, Lucy Punch as Lucinda, Frances de la Tour as The Giant, Simon Russell Beale as The Baker’s Father, Joanna Riding as Cinderella’s Mother, and Annette Crosbie as Grandmother.

Into the Woods is directed by Rob Marshall (Chicago, Memoirs of a Geisha) and based on the Tony Award winning play by James Lapine and Stephen Soundheim.

Lapine wrote the screenplay for the film and Soundheim is credited with the music and lyrics, so musical/Broadway fans alike should have something exciting to look forward to this winter!

Watch the trailer for the Disney musical below and visit the official Facebook page for more info!

Into the Woods opens in theaters nationwide December 25, 2014.

The post First Full Look at Johnny Depp as The Wolf in Disney’s ‘Into the Woods’ also appeared on PCM Reviews.

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