Georgi, 12; Monmouth County, NJ
Plays: Pepper, the tough one
On being a second-generation orphan: My mom played Tessie in the third national tour of Annie, so I’ve known about the show my whole life. I never saw the stage production, though: only the movie. I didn’t realize that the show has songs that weren’t in the movie.
On the first scene: This is where you really get to know the characters. You see how bossy I am when I beat up Madi Rae [July]. It’s also amazing when Katie Finneran comes in from the top of the stairs—she’s hilarious and perfect as Miss Hannigan.
Favorite city park: I love going to Bryant Park. During the summer, it’s fun to pick up food and sit outside. In the winter, the kiosks by the ice-skating rink are awesome. They have this fake syringe that’s filled with melted chocolate.—Rory Halperin
Madi Rae, 12; San Diego, California
Plays: July, the motherly one
Favorite part of the show: I love when Annie sings “Tomorrow”—it reminds me of the scene in Wicked when Elpheba sings “Defying Gravity.” Annie speaks for everyone who has ever been upset or lonely. She teaches you to make the most out of a bad situation.
On her character: July’s one of the older orphans. She’s nice to the younger kids and teaches them that you have to be tough if you’re living in an orphanage.
On how she spends her downtime: My mom, dad and sister moved to New York with me, and we like to walk around. We recently went to Little Italy for the San Gennaro Festival—it was crowded, but we had good pizza.—Rory Halperin
Jaidyn, 11; Los Angeles, CA
Plays: Standby for Annie, Pepper, Duffy and July
Best part of being on Broadway: Even though I’m a standby, they include me in everything. I’ve done Annie three times before, so I’m very familiar with the show. I played Kate once and Annie twice, but I really like doing different things. I step in for the girls when they’re in rehearsals or fittings, so I can be Duffy or July whenever I want.
On Sandy: Even the dog has an understudy. We call it a “doggerstudy.” We just came up with that name a couple of days ago. Sunny and Casey like licking me, and now my own dog’s jealous. He’s trying to be extra cute.
Favorite place to get pizza: Patzeria in midtown! You can get the Grandma pizza—it’s all garlic. It’s a hole-in-the wall spot—nothing fancy, and it’s cheap. It’s not like $50 for two slices.—Lindsey Thomas
Junah, 10; Columbia, MO
Plays: Tessie, the crybaby
On her favorite scene: I love when all the girls sing “[You’re] Never Fully Dressed [Without a Smile].” It’s one of the parts in the show where the orphans get to have fun. I bet it’s going to make kids and adults in the audience want to be on Broadway too.
Best part about living in the city: At home everything is so far apart but here, it’s like everything moved just for us. There’s a hardware store down the street, a hospital around the corner and so many stores that sell cool origami paper.
Favorite city neighborhood: My parents are from South Korea, so we always go to Koreatown. I like to order donkatsu, which is pork sprinkled with bread crumbs. It’s crispy.—Lindsey Thomas
Tyrah, 7; Maple Shade, NJ
Plays: Kate, the shy one
On stage fright: Kate is shy, but I’m not. I don’t get nervous, because I like being in front of a lot of people. Performing for two people doesn’t feel comfortable. It feels weirder than being with 1,700 people in the audience. I want Beyoncé to come and see Annie someday…and President Obama and Will Smith, too!
Best thing about Annie: There are so many characters and scenes in the show—it feels like it’s never going to end! The second act is my favorite. Seeing all the little kids smiling in the audience makes me smile.
Favorite city restaurants: Schnipper’s has the greatest french fries. I like their potatoes—they’re so juicy. Sometimes I go to Junior’s to eat dinner during break. I don’t like cheesecake, but I love their mac and cheese. It’s kind of like Kraft but thicker.—Lindsey Thomas
Emily, 8; Westchester, NY
Plays: Molly, the youngest
On the transition to Broadway: I’ve done musical theater before, but I’ve never been on Broadway. Except when my friend was in Mary Poppins and I got to sing on the stage after a show.
Best part about working on Annie: The numbers are fabulous, and I love learning from all the talented actors. I’ve also gotten to see a lot of other shows, like Newsies.
Favorite city store: I love going to American Girl Place to get my doll’s hair done. For opening night, I’m going to get a new doll. I think I want Caroline or Molly, because I play Molly, but I might change my mind.—Lindsey Thomas
Taylor, 11; Richmond, Virginia
Plays: Duffy, the oldest
On the Annie open casting call: I came to New York to try out—it was my first time in the city. I sang “I Love the Piano” from White Christmas. It was such an exciting day when I found out I got the part. My mom brought out a cake that said Broadway Bound. I thought it was just a hopeful wish, but it was really true.
Best part of being in an ensemble: It’s really fun to work with all of the girls. We all eat together during breaks and we took a trip to see Wicked.
Favorite spot to go bowling:Bowlmor in Times Square has a disco ball that’s shaped like a jumbo pin—it’s so cool. Instead of putting our real names on the bowling scoreboard, we used our orphan names.—Rory Halperin