When Patrick Flynn's wife Joyce Albrecht saw a notice calling for a dog to perform in The Company's Theatre's upcoming rendition of Annie, she thought immediately of her Labradoodle Sandy.
The Braintree couple named Sandy after the mutt in the hit Broadway musical six years ago because she looked just like the dog pictured in promotions they had seen for the play.
"I said, 'What the heck, why don’t we see if they can use our dog?'" Flynn said in a recent interview. "As it turned out, Sandy has worked out very well.”
Sandy will perform in the theatre's production of Annie, alongside Braintree resident Julia Vaillancourt, playing orphan, from Nov. 23 through Dec. 16 at The Company Theatre Centre for the Arts in Norwell.
The production features child and adult actors from across the region, including Hanson's Riley MacDonald as "Annie," Hingham's Joe Siriani as Daddy "Oliver Warbucks," West Roxbury's Mary Beth Murphy as Miss Hannaigan, Arlington's Sarah Vincelett as "Grace," Holbrook's Paul Brennan at "Rooster," and Pembroke's Sarah Leary as "Lily."
Another 13 acting "orphans" and 20 adult actors fill out the cast.
Annie is Sandy's first theatrical experience, but she took to it quickly. Sandy, a cross between a chocolate labrador retriever and a white standard poodle, not only appears right for the part, Flynn said, she also has the right temperament.
"As much as we think our pets are almost human-like, they are not," Flynn said. They are animals, and you never quite know how they are going to respond."
Through rehearsals so far, Sandy has responded well to commands and bonded with on-stage companion Riley. And by turning a near performance-ending problem on its head, Flynn, Albrecht and Riley's parents have made it easier for the two to become even more comfortable together.
Flynn and Albrecht are visiting family in Ohio over Thanksgiving, and were concerned that Sandy would miss key rehearsals and the first performance on the Friday after the holiday. But the MacDonald family offered a "theatrical staycation" and now Sandy will stay with Riley and her parents, getting to know each other more and preparing for when the theatre is full of patrons.
"This is going to work out well for everybody," Flynn said.
More on the play from The Company Theatre:
Annie brings a popular comic strip heroine to center stage. Raised in 1930's New York City, Annie is determined to find her parents, who abandoned her years ago on the doorstep of a New York City Orphanage run by the cruel Miss Hannigan.
With the help of her girl orphan friends, Annie escapes to the wondrous and magical NYC. She adventurously foils Miss Hannigan's evil scheming and befriends President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, where she finds a new home and family in billionaire Oliver Warbucks, his personal secretary Grace Farrell, and a lovable mutt named Sandy.
Tickets for all performances range from $33 to $35. For a complete performance schedule, to order tickets, or for more information, call the box office at 781-871-2787, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit http://www.companytheatre.com/.
Matinee and evening performances are available. The Company Theatre Centre for the Arts box office is open Monday to Friday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., and during all performances.Free parking is available on site, and the theatre is handicap accessible.
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