'Annie' to open at the Fox Theatre with Sally Struthers


• What: “Annie”

• When: Saturday, Sunday, Jan. 17 to 22, times vary between shows

• Where: Fox Theatre, 660 Peachtree St., Atlanta

• Cost: $25 to $65

•For more information: Visit www.foxtheatre.or...

ATLANTA -- You can bet your bottom dollar that the classic musical "Annie" is back on stage at the fabulous Fox Theatre with special guest Sally Struthers taking the role of Miss Hannigan, the alcoholic, child-hating caretaker at the orphanage Saturday through Jan. 22.

"I can't relate to her at all, but that's what makes it fun to play her. After becoming famous for helping children around the world, I now play someone who can't stand them. It's hilarious," she said. "I used to get my aggression out while driving; now I have Miss Hannigan."

Struthers has fond memories of seeing the 1982 film adaptation of the musical with her young daughter. Carol Burnett played the infamous Miss Hannigan.

"Carol Burnett couldn't have been on the screen for more than two minutes when my daughter started wailing, 'I want to go home, I don't like her,'" she said with a laugh. "On the first day of rehearsal, I decided I would play her fun, clown-like and silly, so no child in the audience would be frightened by her."

Struthers believes that everyone of every age will enjoy the show because it's timeless.

"The children and even the adults who have never seen it will be transfixed for two and a half hours," the actress said. "They will have their toes tapping without even noticing. The songs are so memorable. It's also a history lesson because it takes place during the Great Depression. We show the people who lost their homes and children who were sent to orphanages."

The musical also touches on unemployment, poverty and a devastated economy.

There may be many political themes in the plot, but Struthers insists that everyone in the audience will enjoy the show.

"It's one of those perfect musicals that everybody loves. You could take the music out and it's still a great play," she said. "There's snow, a dog and singing ... it's fun for everybody."

"Annie" runs until Jan. 22.