Shelter dog to play ‘Sandy’ on broadway
A revival of “Annie” the Musical is heading back to Broadway and Sunny, a dog rescued from an animal shelter has been awarded the lead doggie role of Sandy.
Sunny’s story is as good as the plot to ‘Annie’ itself. At the last minute the producer, Arielle Tepper, decided she wanted a fourth dog to choose from for the role of Sandy. So the musical’s administration team went to work and spotted Sunny online at a Kill Shelter in Houston. She only had 48 hours left to live and had a bad abrasion on her leg. The musical’s animal trainer William Berloni adopted her sight-unseen and wasn’t even sure if she would be a suitable candidate for Sandy. But on their first meeting her looks and temperament shone through and ultimately James Lapine — the musical’s director — gave her the starring role based on her athleticism and comfort with walking on her back legs.
Berloni, a special Tony winner in 2011, began his career some 35 years ago as an animal trainer for the original production of “Annie”. He says that this time Sandy’s role will be slightly different as there are plans that she will dance!
Lucky Sunny moves into her new apartment (on the upper West Side) with her understudy Casey in August to begin their rigorous training. And while Sunny’s story is amazing in terms of lucky timing, she does have something in common with every other dog who played Sandy on Broadway: they were all shelter pups.
If you are in New York at some stage and possibly get a chance to see “Annie”, Pedigree will donate $2 for each ticket to the show sold through to the end of next year, up to $1 million for a fund dedicated to helping dogs find homes!
Check out the video below of Sunny and William Berloni together on the Today Show (reload the page if no video appears).
Published on July 30, 2012