Santa Monica resident Alan Toy has been cast as President Franklin Delano Roosevelt in NBC’s holiday spectacular “Annie Live!”. Toy, who also contracted polio resulting in paralysis similar to FDR, is the first actor to portray the role while personally having the same disability.
Toy joins an A-list ensemble that includes Taraji P. Henson as Miss Hannigan, Harry Connick Jr. as Daddy Warbucks, Nicole Scherzinger as Grace, Tituss Burgess as Rooster, Megan Hilty as Lily St. Regis and Celina Smith in the title role of Annie. The showing is set for Thursday, Dec. 2 at 8 p.m. ET/PT.
Toy, who also contracted polio resulting in paralysis similar to FDR, is the first actor to portray the role while personally having the same disability. An actor and activist, he is regularly sought after for his insights on how mass media depictions of Disability influence that community’s place in society.
“It is a huge honor to join such a talented ensemble,” Toy said. “FDR has always been a role model of accomplishment for me, and I’m thrilled to be able to play him. I tip my hat to NBC and the producers of ‘Annie Live!’ for authentically casting a person with a Disability for this role. I’m proud to represent the community and hope that we will continue to see more of the Disability Community in roles across entertainment media.”
“Annie” is one of the most beloved and biggest hits in Broadway history and the winner of seven Tony Awards, including Best Musical. It has been licensed and performed in 50 countries and translated into eight languages. Based on the Harold Gray comic strip “Little Orphan Annie” that debuted in 1924, the musical premiered on Broadway in 1977 and initially ran for over four years.
“Annie Live!” will be executive produced by Robert Greenblatt, Neil Meron and Alex Rudzinsky, with Lear deBessonet and Alex Rudzinski sharing the directing duties. Choreography will be led by Sergio Trujillo. Jason Sherwood will oversee production design. Stephen Oremus will orchestrate the music direction. Emilio Sosa will lead costume design. The live event is being produced by Chloe Productions.
Toy represented by Phil Brock and Kathryn Boole of Studio Talent Group located in Santa Monica.