The classic rags-to-riches musical telling the story of little orphan Annie is having its first Auckland performance tonight.
630 girls across the country auditioned for the lead role of the red-haired dancing and singing icon, with three being chosen.
Zoe Fifield, 13 (Auckland), Amelia Walshe, 11 (Wellington) and Ilena Shadbolt, 12 (Wellington) will be alternating roles for the performances in Wellington and Auckland.
At a preview this morning the Auckland Annie, Zoe Fifield, was excited and nervous about the opening night.
The Rangitoto College student says the past seven weeks she has been home-schooled while performing the musical in Wellington but is looking forward to seeing her family and friends in tonight's audience.
Fifield says despite not having any orphan experience she relates to Annie's character.
"I'm tough like Annie because I have two brothers and I also have a dog like Sandy."
Producer, James Cundall says the musical's point of difference is in the age-range of the actors.
"There are actors, like 87-year-old Audrey, who are passing the batten of knowledge onto the young actors, some of whom are just 7-years-old.
"It's one of those shows where there is this really wide age gap and it works together to create a great musical."
Two dogs are alternating the role of Sandy the dog - Ramble and Clyde.
A further 48 kiwi girl were chosen to play the roles of orphans. They are divided into two 24-strong troops - one for Wellington shows and the other for Auckland shows.
The "orphans" come from Christchurch, New Plymouth, Hamilton, Tauranga, Auckland and Wellington.
Annie features many famous UK stars, including Su Pollard ( Hi-de-Hi!), David McAlister (Dr Who, The Mousetrap), Frazer Hines (Emmerdale, Dr Who) and two stars f BBC sitcom 'Allo 'Allo - Sue Hodge an John D Collins.