Suzanne
Suzanne

November 28th, 2008, 11:08 pm #11

Originally, Joanna's people filed two lawsuits, one against the producers and the other against Macy's. The first one was dropped once they found out that the show and Equity had binding arbitration, and the last thing they wanted to do was mess with binding arbitration.

The lawsuit against Macy's was just about to go to trial in 2001 when Macy's suddenly settled out of court. The amount of money was never revealed, but it was presumed that the settlement made Joanna a millionaire, which enabled her to pursue a recording career.
Anyone wanna fire me for that kind of money? I'm for hire.. uh fire haha! Just kidding! Sorry I couldn't resist. (Yes, Julie I am still on the Pneumonia meds so blame those!) :0)

Suzanne
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old fan
old fan

November 28th, 2008, 11:15 pm #12

Let's hope this time Joanna sings better songs. She should try to market ehrself more like this gerations Celine Dion not another Brittny. Let her sing straight out not try to sing too many riffs to try to sound a certain street way. Let her hold notes and not have her voice burryied in drum machines and vocal effects. Like the production used in some Mandy Moore songs. The song "only Hope" comes to mind.
...to her singing. I listened to the more recent You Tube of her singing the national anthem, and I couldn't help but compare it to the pure, powerful way she sang it in her dad's barbershop as a kid.
I think she is very talented, and I loved her as Annie, but I agree with the above post about her present style.
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Denver
Denver

November 29th, 2008, 1:03 am #13

Originally, Joanna's people filed two lawsuits, one against the producers and the other against Macy's. The first one was dropped once they found out that the show and Equity had binding arbitration, and the last thing they wanted to do was mess with binding arbitration.

The lawsuit against Macy's was just about to go to trial in 2001 when Macy's suddenly settled out of court. The amount of money was never revealed, but it was presumed that the settlement made Joanna a millionaire, which enabled her to pursue a recording career.
Jon,

Thank you for taking the time to catch me up on her story.

I am actually pleased to hear that Joanna recieved some sort of settlement for her time, energy and ultimate heartbreak.
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AnnieFan65
AnnieFan65

November 29th, 2008, 1:51 am #14

I agree with Rachel in wondering how much, if any, talk was done (and when) about the possibility of sharing the title role. I think that another conflict was that if the role were shared, which Annie would perform on the upcoming revival cast album? As we all know, they decided not to do a cast album after all for Annie 20th, and the conflict over the proposed shared role was probably one of the reasons.

A big misstep on the part of the 1997 producers was to make Thomas Meehan stand in the audience shortly into the run with a clipboard to take 17 minutes out of the show because they thought that the show was too long and making the kids in the audience "antsy." To this day, the script has never been up to the quality it used to be before that happened.
After seeing both Joanna and Brittny I think Joanna could have made the Broadway show a hit.

I did not believe that "role sharing" was offered. I always thought it was something they put on 20-20 to take the sting out of the fact they let Joanna go and to make themselves look better - to make it look like it was Joanna's decision to leave in the end.

At the end of the 2nd 20-20 show they made the comments "tickets are selling" and the "show has been nominated for a Tony". Tickets were barely selling and already at the discount booth. The Tony was for "Best Revival" and there were only three (I think) on Broadway at the time.

I would love it if Joanna won AI. She's a major talent and deserves it.
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Jon Merrill
Jon Merrill

November 29th, 2008, 3:19 am #15

Jon,

Thank you for taking the time to catch me up on her story.

I am actually pleased to hear that Joanna recieved some sort of settlement for her time, energy and ultimate heartbreak.
New York Post, May 3, 2001

SACKED ANNIE A MILLIONAIRE AS MACYS SETTLES

The girl who won a Macys contest to play Annie on Broadway--only to be dumped two weeks before the show opened--is getting a multimillion-dollar settlement from the store.

Lawyers for Macys and 16-year-old Joanna Pacitti hammered out the deal last month, a source close to the case told The Post.

It is worth several million dollars, the source said.

The hard-knock case stems from a contest staged for the 20th anniversary revival of Annie four years ago.

Macys struck a deal with producers to conduct a nationwide contest to pick Broadways New Annie, and Joanna, then 12, beat out four semifinalists for the role of the fire-haired, comic strip orphan.

But in February 1997, two weeks before opening night, the producers faxed Joanna the news that she was being replaced by her 8-year-old understudy, Brittny Kissinger.

Sources told The Post at the time that the producers dumped Joanna because they didnt feel her performance was good enough.

The brokenhearted youngster and her parents, Joseph and Stella Pacitti, who live in suburban Philadelphia, sued Macys for $50 million for breach of contract.

They alleged that Macys made fraudulent claims concerning the auditions.

The case was thrown out of a Pennsylvania court, but later reinstated by an appeals court. It was set to go to a jury trial on June 6.

Macys and Joannas lawyer, Joseph Claffy, refused to comment on the reported settlement.

Gail Parenteau, a former publicist for Joanna, said she believed Macys had already spend close to a half-million dollars fighting the case.

At the time her lawsuit was filed, Joanna told The Post:

I want to continue to fight Macys so that no other child has to go through what I did and be so disappointed.

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french_girl
french_girl

November 29th, 2008, 2:44 pm #16

Someone just posted this on the BroadwayWorld message board, and I had never seen it before. Apparently, according to one comment, this is a follow-up to the follow-up they filmed after Joanna was fired.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uc693cU4Sfg

One thing that struck me: they mention that at first Joanna was offered the option of sharing the role of Annie with Britney, but that the two parties couldn't agree on terms. Well, I wonder how that would have worked when the show opened on Broadway. I think it's pretty likely that Joanna would have been a favorite, the preferred Annie to see. I wonder if ticket sales would have reflected that, and the producers might have ended up giving her back the role completely. And perhaps the show would have had better success on Broadway.

Any thoughts? I just thought it was an interesting idea.
i remember seing a lot of this "documentary" on french tv when i was little! anyway

it's so sad how they treated (sp?) joanna!! i agree with what andrea mcardle said
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JillR.
JillR.

November 29th, 2008, 11:48 pm #17

I agree with Rachel in wondering how much, if any, talk was done (and when) about the possibility of sharing the title role. I think that another conflict was that if the role were shared, which Annie would perform on the upcoming revival cast album? As we all know, they decided not to do a cast album after all for Annie 20th, and the conflict over the proposed shared role was probably one of the reasons.

A big misstep on the part of the 1997 producers was to make Thomas Meehan stand in the audience shortly into the run with a clipboard to take 17 minutes out of the show because they thought that the show was too long and making the kids in the audience "antsy." To this day, the script has never been up to the quality it used to be before that happened.
were put back in for Annie 30th. (at least at the time I saw the show)
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Jon Merrill
Jon Merrill

November 30th, 2008, 3:25 am #18

I haven't seen Annie in several years, but I hope you are right that some of the script has been restored. How about the political/historical references? Are they back? A lot of them were taken out of Annie 20th, which really hurt the show.
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JillR.
JillR.

December 1st, 2008, 12:04 am #19

In Annie 30th, Hooverville was back, Molly's dream is not cut short, and I think that the "Jack Dempsey." line was also there. As to the community theater/school productions I've seen, (all year 2004 and later) it seemed to me that the original script was used.
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JillR.
JillR.

December 1st, 2008, 12:09 am #20

NMI
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