TOMORROW IS TODAY by Shelley Bruce


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Shelley Bruce was 13 and had just finished a year's run as Broadway's second Annie when she was diagnosed as leukemic; drawing comfort and inspiration from the show's spunky title character, she won a five-year battle against the disease. The simple story has more to do with her acting experience, in any case, than with the course of her illness. Bruce appeared as one of the Annie orphans when the show first opened out-of-state; then, along with her close friend Andrea McArdle, the original Annie, she moved with the show to Broadway. And when McArdle outgrew the title role, Bruce auditioned for and won the coveted part, for a year. She not only talks about the social whirl of being a Broadway star, she expands on the plot and the characters. (""As Broadway's Annie I started out life in an orphanage, where I had been left on the steps as a baby by my parents, who were too poor to care for me."") Her well-developed stage discipline, we hear, helped her through the ordeal of chemotherapy at New York's Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center: ""If I could go onstage. . . so sick that I was falling down and still give a show-stopping performance, I could will myself to persevere through this crisis too."" With biographies of cast-members (""A newcomer to Broadway at age twelve, Donna Graham had a wide professional background. . ."") and emphasis on the show's hopeful ""Tomorrow"" message, this is programmed for Annie devotees.

Pub Date: Dec. 1st, 1983
Publisher: Bobbs-Merrill