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Bradenton girl, 11, to go on national tour with ‘Annie’

Bradenton’s Jacqueline Galvano thinks it would be a hoot to sing the song “Tomorrow” with “The Late Late Show” host James Corden as part of his famous segment, “Carpool Karaoke.”

“I would just love it,” a beaming Jacqueline said Monday during a visit to the Manatee Performing Arts Center in Bradenton where she said the foundation of her skills were laid over the past few years.

Although Corden’s call to the Stewart Elementary School graduate to sing in his sport utility vehicle like Adele and Justin Bieber have done might not come right away, she does stand a chance since she is really going to sing “Tomorrow” in a national touring company of “Annie.”

The 11-year-old daughter of state Sen. Bill Galvano, R-Bradenton, and his wife, Julie, beat out 300 to 400 other “Annie” hopefuls in New York City this past July, Julie Galvano said Monday.

Jacqueline will perform as Annie two nights a week and will play the orphan, July, on the other nights in Troika Entertainment’s seven-month nationwide tour, which begins in Oklahoma City in November and ends in Boston in May, covering about 30 states and 80 cities, including some in Canada.

Cynthia Ashford of Spotlight Kids told the Galvanos that Jacqueline should audition for “Annie,” Julie Galvano said.

“It was extremely nerve-wracking,” Julie Galvano said of the audition. “Every time she came out of the room I wasn’t sure if it was good news or bad news.”

Jacqueline seemed to be floating on a cloud Monday as she recalled her audition and her casting.

“One group would be cut and one group would be asked to stay to learn a dance,” Jacqueline said of the audition. “They would say, ‘You go with that person.’ We learned a dance. They kept cutting. We read lines. They kept cutting. Some of us got to audition with the dog, who has been on Broadway before as Sandy. They kept cutting. We did that routine over and over. Finally, they told me I was in. I was incredibly thrilled. I just felt so fortunate.”

Jacqueline will be doing Florida Virtual School on her computer while she is on tour. If she hadn’t been cast for the tour, Jacqueline would’ve been entering King Middle School this year.

A Galvano family member will be with the young actor on her every tour stop, her mother said.

“We’re passing the baton from mom to dad to brother,” she added.

Hundreds of Jacqueline’s friends are expected to to see her perform March 14-15 when the tour comes to the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall in Sarasota, her mother said.

“We’ve told a lot of people,” Jacqueline said with a giggle.

Dream come true

Jacqueline, who has loved musicals and anything Broadway since she went to a drama camp on Anna Maria Island when she was about 8-years-old, said she has always dreamed of performing in “Annie.”

“It’s just a sweet story and it’s such a classic and I love Sandy because dogs are amazing and the music is wonderful,” Jacqueline said.

Jacqueline has a full resume at the Manatee Players. She played Helen Keller in the “Miracle Worker” in December and played Edwina in “Dear Edwina” and Scout in “To Kill a Mockingbird” this year.

This past January, Jacqueline sang the National Anthem at the Florida Legislature in Tallahassee for both the Senate’s opening session and the joint opening session between the House and the Senate.

“Annie” started as a Broadway musical based on Harold Gray’s comic strip, “Little Orphan Annie.” The show opened in 1977 and ran for nearly six years, winning the Tony Award for Best Musical. Many national tours and international productions followed.

“Annie” takes place in 1933 when 11-year-old Annie is in an orphanage along with fellow orphans, Molly, 6, Kate, 7, Tessie, 10, Pepper, 12, July, 13, and Duffy, 13.

Troika’s non-union tour will be directed by Martin Charnin, who staged the first “Annie” on Broadway and has said he will use that as a blueprint for the coming tour.

“He’s amazing,” Julie Galvano said of Charnin. “We met him. He’s in his 80s. This is such an honor that he is part of the show.”

Richard Dymond: 941-745-7072, @RichardDymond

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