Photo Credit: Fred R. Conrad/The New York Times
Snapshot | Lilla Crawford
Broadway Baby? No Way! She’s 11 Already!
By PATRICK HEALY
The New York Times
Published: September 26, 2012
The theater director James Lapine personally auditioned 150 little girls to be the star of the new Broadway revival of “Annie,” and finally chose his orphan after a half-dozen callbacks with the young actress Lilla Crawford.
“She has the requisite toughness,” Mr. Lapine said, “but also has an ability to make sense of everything in a song, to make it sound personal rather than practiced. And Lilla has a big voice that can reach people up in the second balcony.”
While the “Annie” producers trumpeted their national search for the role, raising hopes of girls everywhere that they would break out of the unknown, Ms. Crawford surfaced in a relatively conventional way. A native of Los Angeles, Ms. Crawford, 11, has been performing in musicals since she was 5, when she played the evil queen in a children’s production of “Once Upon a Mattress.” Soon she was visiting New York to audition for casting directors, and eventually nabbed a supporting role two years ago as the ballerina Debbie in the Broadway musical “Billy Elliot.”
“I was on vacation in New York when my agent called asking if I wanted to go right in and audition for ‘Billy Elliot,’ so I was lucky to be there,” Ms. Crawford said.
By the time “Annie” came around, Ms. Crawford was an old pro, even having her own Twitter account to send out publicity.
In a recent conversation before rehearsals for “Annie,” which begins performances on Wednesday, Ms. Crawford spoke with Patrick Healy about her big break (credit Cool Whip), balancing performing with schoolwork (hard-knock life!) and whom she hopes to meet backstage at the show.
To read the complete interview, click on the following link: