|BRODY BETT (alt. Michael Llewellyn Davies, Jack Llewellyn Davies) Brody is 8 years old. Previous roles include The Grand Duke (Cinderella), Curly the Lost Boy (Peter Pan), King of Hearts (Alice in Wonderland), Tiny Tim and Ghost of Christmas Future (A Christmas Carol) and Chip (Beauty and the Beast). He has perfect pitch, plays the piano and drums.|
|SETH ERDLEY (alt. George Llewellyn Davies, Peter Llewellyn Davies, Jack Llewellyn Davies) Seth is thrilled to make his national tour debut with Finding Neverland. Favorite credits: School of Rock (Zach Mooneyham), Pippin (Theo), and Oliver (Oliver). Thanks to Lauren, Dean, Lyn, Blythe and Mr. Marrs. Love and thanks to Dad, Mom, Emma, Ethan, my friends and family for your support. Phil. 4:13|
Caleb Reese Paul
|CALEB REESE PAUL (alt. George Llewellyn Davies, Peter Llewellyn Davies, Jack Llewellyn Davies) Caleb is thrilled to be making his National Tour debut! Never-ending thanks to the cast and creative team, Stewart/Whitley Casting, NETworks, Shirley Grant Management, Bob Marks, Denise Simon, Janine Molinari, Hudson, family and friends, and everyone who believed along the way! www.calebreesepaul.com; @calebreesepaul|
|PAUL SCHOELLER (alt. George Llewellyn Davies, Peter Llewellyn Davies, Jack Llewellyn Davies) Paul is honored to work with the cast and crew of Finding Neverland! National Tour: The Sound of Music (Friedrich). Regional: A Christmas Story (Ralphie); Seussical, Jr. (Jojo). Thanks to Lisa Calli and the FNL creative team. I thank God for giving me talent and my parents for supporting me.|
|JOSIAH SMOTHERS (alt. Michael Llewellyn Davies, Jack Llewellyn Davies) Josiah is excited to make his National Tour debut with the first Broadway show he ever saw! Josiah is a dancer/singer/actor at Studio Bleu Dance Center and a member of Chloe and Maud Arnold’s Jr. Tap Company. Josiah would like to thank his family, Mr. Dave, Shirley Grant Management, Miss Kim, and God for this opportunity. Follow him on Instagram or Facebook @itsjosiahsmothers|
|ETHAN STOKES (alt. George Llewellyn Davies, Peter Llewellyn Davies, Jack Llewellyn Davies) Ethan is from Wisconsin, and is excited to be making his National Tour debut. Favorite credits: Jungle Book KIDS (Mowgli), Seussical Jr. (Jojo) and Aladdin Jr. NYC workshop (Genie). Special Thanks to Treehouse Theater, iTheatrics, and Stewart/Whitley. Love to Mom, Dad, Allyson, Mackenzi, cats, grandparents, family and friends. Believe!|
UMD Writer’s Bloc – 03/07/2019
“But it is this intentional averageness that makes Peter (Seth Erdley), George (Paul Schoeller), Jack (Josiah Smothers) and Michael (Brody Bett) Llewelyn Davies so fabulously refreshing as they terrorize the park with daring sword fights, buried treasure and tales of swashbuckling pirates. Erdley, Schoeller, Smothers and Bett are perfectly darling and easily fill your daily dose of cuteness with their wooden swords and tri-cornered pirate hats as they run through the park with their mother…”
DC Theatre Scene – 02/28/2019
“The kids are stellar—often funny, delivering lines with a mix of purity and sarcasm in a perfectly British way. The boys have their own backyard shindig, wherein they form a band, complete with a washboard and drums via wooden spoons, to sing ‘We’re All Made of Stars.’ Schoeller’s George is the standout, strumming a small guitar and leading the troupe as the eldest would”
MD Theatre Guide – 02/28/2019
“…the four moppets were enchanting.”
Broadway World Washington D.C. – 02/27/2019
“…the enormously talented kids…do their very best to deliver a fun evening of entertainment for all…”
DC Metro Theatre Arts – 02/27/2019
“…the kids (Seth Erdley, Paul Schoeller, Josiah Smothers, and Brody Bett on Tuesday night) are cute. …Peter (Erdley), who gets to play some additional dimensions and does so nicely…”
Theatre Bloom – 02/27/2019
“…six incredibly talented youngsters who shuffle to fill the four brothers’ roles at various performances throughout the week. The four who opened the show (Paul Schoeller as George, Josiah Smothers as Jack, Brody Bett as Michael, and particularly Seth Erdley as the more somber and pensive Peter) are not only talented with strong voices, they are utterly engaging. They provide a great energy to the show and are more thangame for embracing Michaels’ not-for-the-faint choreography. Their chemistry is so strong they could very well be brothers, and their relationships with Barrie and their mother are completely natural and easy…young Erdley is an outstanding young actor who grasps the mature soul of his character and goes toe to toe with his enthusiastic counterpart Sullivan.”
The Washington Post – 02/27/2019
“…the chipper punchlines landed by the plucky young actors playing the kids.”
Springfield News-Leader – 01/30/2019
“Offering fine support are the boys alternating as the Llewelyn Davies children…”
BroadwayWorld Dayton – 01/18/2019
“…Ethan Stokes, Brody Bett, Caleb Reese Paul and Seth Erdley. The boys were integral to the story and all did a marvelous job.”
Dayton Local – 01/17/2019
“The parts of Sylvia’s four sons are rotated, on the night I attended, Peter was played by Ethan Stokes. Stokes, like each of the boys, possesses a talent level way beyond his years. From cute childlike antics, even at a fancy dinner party, to heart wrenching drama the boys expertly portray every emotion. Furthermore, for a rendition of ‘We’re All Made of Stars,’ the boys form a boy’s band that I would actually go see in concert.”
BroadwayWorld Madison – 01/13/2019
“While I ordinarily find a stage with children and a dog to be a trite gimmick, in this production it was not only necessary, but worked very well, thanks to the professionalism and talent of those kids! Seth Erdley, Paul Schoeller, Josiah Smothers, and Brody Bett, all did an amazing job at their portrayal of the Llewelyn Davies boys who inspired the show. Their vocals, choreography and theatrical presence brought a sense of realism to this fantastic tale of a man finding his own inner child.”
Isthmus – 01/12/2019
“And a massive round of applause should be given to child actor Caleb Reese Paul, who plays her son, Peter Davies, whose relationship with Barrie draws him out of his shell. The two sing a powerfully sad duet, ‘When Your Feet Don’t Touch the Ground.’”
The Gazette – 12/30/2018
“The Llewelyn Davies boys were adorable throughout, but their standout moment came when they whipped up their big number, ‘We’re All Made of Stars,’ dreaming of possibilities.”
Broadway World Albuquerque – 12/14/2018
“Caleb Reese Paul (Peter), Paul Schoeller (George), Ethan Stokes (Jack), and Josiah Smothers (Michael) are phenomenal as the Llewellyn Davies children, never missing a beat.”
Broadway World Salt Lake City – 12/05/2018
“The children, who rotate their roles nightly, are phenomenal. At the reviewed performance, Ethan Stokes played George, Josiah Smothers played Jack, and Brody Bett played Michael. Seth Erdley gave an exceptional performance as Peter.”
Front Row Reviewers Utah – 12/05/2018
“Stokes, Erdley, Bett, and Paul each hold their own onstage, equals to those they work with. In a show with many great things about it, these young actors may be what’s best about Finding Neverland. Even in duets, some with one of the brothers, but Peter’s duets with Barrie, all boys clearly and strongly hit the notes, keep in character, and are thoroughly adorable.”
Front Row Reviewers Utah – 11/30/2018
“Breathing believability into the realistic aspect of this story are the fatherless children, the Davies brothers who inspire the creation of the Darling brothers and the lost boys, Ethan Stokes as George, Paul Schoeller as Peter, Caleb Reese Paul as Jack, and Brody Bett as Michael- a darling favorite of mine no pun intended. They encompass true boyhood. They are playful, funny, genuine, and comfortable onstage. And they rotate playing different brothers depending on the performance night, along with two other young performers Seth Erdley and Josiah Smothers. Talent flows from the ability to handle that rotation alone, but I haven’t even started talking about their singing voices. They are perfectly on pitch and sing beautiful harmonies number after number. I’ve never heard a better voice from a young man as I did tonight from Schoeller. He sings a duet with leading man Sullivan, and more than holds his own and carries powerful harmonies and emotion-impressive talent from one so young.”
The Spokesman-Review – 11/16/2018
“The young actors playing the Davies boys Thursday night – Stokes, Paul Schoeller, Caleb Reese Paul and Brody Bett – all deserve high praise. Each performed beautifully, and their performance of ‘We’re All Made of Stars’ was particularly moving.”
Broadway World National Tours – 10/17/2018
“Throughout the show there are many moments that tug on the heartstrings. In a cast composed primarily of adults, Caleb Reese Paul as Peter holds his own; especially in the scenes opposite Sullivan where the two interact directly. The cheeky We Own the Night was a particular favorite for me, and a nice break to a dull adult dinner party and a great example of the imagination of a child breaking through the world of the adults. When Reese Paul and the other Llewelyn Davies children prepare for their own backyard show with the song We’re all Made of Stars the cast’s youngest performers warm your heart with their energy and enthusiasm.”
GR Mag – 10/10/2018
www Bios | Schedule | Reviews
ISSIE SWICKLE (Annie) from Davie, FL. National tour debut as "Annie!" Huge thanks to Broadway Kids Studio, Michelle Ameerally, Broadway Artists Alliance, Jennifer Johns, Jonathan Brenner, Nancy Carson, Joy Dewing, Verna and Family. Mom, Dad, Max this is for you!www
ANGELINA CARBALLO (July, Molly u/s) is a fun-loving nine year old who is thrilled to be in this amazing production. Thanks to Actor’s Playhouse, BAA, Carson-Adler, Troika Entertainment, Joy Dewing, STA, PPDC, Encore, family and friends for fueling her passion in musical theater.
ADIA DANT (Pepper, Annie u/s) is excited to make her Broadway Tour debut at age 9. Regional: Eastside Story, Peter Pan, Annie. Special thanks to God, My Family, Nancy Carson, Walker Clark, Bob Marks, Karen Dryer, Lynne Mlott, Julie Bandy, Lynn Herrick, Janine Molinari.
LILLYBEA IRELAND (Tessie) from Evansville, Indiana; enjoys singing, golf, and snuggling her dog Sweetie. Love and thanks to friends, family, parents & siblings (Andrew, Maddie, & Nick) who said dream BIG and follow it! Send smiles and follow her journey Twitter@lillybeaIreland 🙂
SYDNEY SHUCK (Kate) 11 years old, from New York . STAGE: School House Rock, Jr.; The Little Mermaid, Jr. (Ariel) FILM: Live a Little (Haley) . I want to thank GOD, my family, Nancy Carson & Peggy Stamps!
Lilly Mae Stewart
LILLY MAE STEWART (Molly) Lilly Mae's making her National Tour Debut! Showboat (Asolo Repertory), Whistle Down the Wind (Theatre Zone), Fiddler on the Roof (Free Fall), Entertainment Revue, Les Miserable, Annie. Kisses to Kathryn Mitchell, Cynthia Ashford, Trapper Felides, family & friends! www.backstage.com/kathryndutton-mitchell/www
ISABEL WALLACH (Duffy) is delighted to make her professional debut in Annie at 10! Special thanks to the Annie creative team, Joy Dewey Casting, Kristen, Amelia, Sue, Erin, and my Kidz Theater family. Much love to my amazing family and friends – especially Emma!
BroadwayWorld San Antonio - 04/15/15
"Issie Swickle as Annie had the audience applauding from the very first song to the very last note. The endearing qualities of Swickle and her strong vocal performance, proved that the role was one she could handle. The other orphan girls, including Lilly Mae Stewart as Molly and Adia Dant as Pepper, proved they too were up for the challenges of the demands of such an iconic show."
Examiner - 04/15/15
“Issie Swickle is a darling as Annie and her rendition of “Tomorrow” brought thunderous applause from the audience. "
Express News - 04/15/15
“Swickle gives her vocals a streetwise edge that serves the character well. Her scenes with Taggett are tender and often moving — have a tissue or two handy for the moments in which she wins and breaks his heart."
CBS Minnesota - 04/02/15
“Issie Swickle, a 9-year-old from Florida, made her debut as Annie, and she will definitely be one to watch. At nine, she can already belt with the best of them...she had a commanding stage presence and worked well with her fellow actors, both kids and adults...Not to mention doing way better than most would be able to at that age.
The other girls in the orphanage, Isabel Wallach, Lilly Mae Stewart, LillyBea Ireland, Angelina Carballo, Sydney Shuck and Adia Dant, did a great job of creating distinct characters apart from their group identity as orphans."
Star Tribune - 04/01/15
“Swickle and the other tykes deliver with fierceness in this production. They know the mean, preteen mocking that can cut the calmest of parents to the quick, and does so effectively for Miss Hannigan. Swickle’s early numbers, namely “It’s the Hard-Knock Life” and “Tomorrow,” are showstoppers. And she shows that she can be sweet and charming, as well, especially when she tries to get the attention of Grace Farrell."
TC Daily Planet - 04/01/15
“Swickle is ridiculously charming in her performance as Annie, managing to perfectly walk that tight-rope of being sweet without ever falling into the realm of saccharine. She has a natural presence and a fantastic rapport with Oliver Warbucks, played by Gilgamesh Taggett. In fact it would be dishonest to say that Swickle didn’t seem to have a rapport with everyone on the stage, be it the antagonistic Miss Hannigan (who will will get to momentarily), or any member of the supporting cast, from Warbucks’ assistant Grace to practically the gamut of Annie’s… co-orphans?
Is that a term?
Let’s roll with it. From Grace to the co-orphans, Swickle’s Annie felt natural, she felt like an individual who had genuinely earned her affections and had, in spite of few on-stage actions, endeared herself to those around her. The audience could feel the same warmth from Annie that the characters felt, and in this none of the relationships felt forced or for the sake of a production: in a short amount of time one could feel relationships built between characters that breathed and were alive."
Twin Cities - 04/01/15
“9-year-old Issie Swickle does an impressive job with Charnin and Charles Strouse's centerpiece ballads,"
Post crescent - 03/25/15
“A large chunk of the cast is made up of young girls, who, despite their age, show their acting chops and play their parts with gusto. They deliver a charming and lovable performance that was well received....Issie Swickle, who plays the lead role of Annie, is particularly impressive. She packs a huge stage presence into her tiny frame, along with crystal clear vocals and undeniable confidence."
We Are Green Bay - 03/25/15
“Other serious training is obvious in the girls in the cast. Everything flows around them. They’re into their individual characters. They’re a delight in the world-weary “It’s a Hard Knock Life,” when teasing in “You’re Never Fully Dressed Without a Smile” and being girl-shy when meeting President Roosevelt."
Democrat And Chronicle - 03/12/15
“The orphans, especially the wrap-her-up-and-take-her-home adorable Molly (Lilly Mae Stewart), remain a feisty lot in "Hard Knock Life."...But it's Swickle as Annie and her sidekick hound Sandy (Sunny) that everyone comes to see, and they did not disappoint. Swickle, a 9-year-old newcomer with great vocal prowess, is the total package: cute, charming and believably optimistic."
Rochester City Newspaper - 03/12/15
“This is a solid production. Nine-year-old Issie Swickle, who hails from Davie, Florida, is charming in the title role, displaying a strong singing voice that belies her young age."
Politic.click - 03/04/15
“Adia Dant, an Indianapolis native, also gave an impressive performance as bossy, unbiased Pepper."
Examiner.com - 02/27/15
“Standouts were Issie Swickle as the optimistic and fearless orphan Annie...Adia Dant, an Indianapolis native, also gave an impressive performance as bossy, independent Pepper...."
KellyStillwell.com - 02/19/15
“Issie Swickle was spectacular as Annie. What a range that 10 year old has! Annie is her national tour debut, but I’m sure we’ll be seeing more of her. The rest of the cast was fantastic, as well, but I have to say I enjoyed the kids the most. Watching them sing and dance to It’s the Hard Knock Life was my favorite part of the whole show."
TampaBay.com - 02/18/15
“That little Annie is precious, of course, played by big-voiced Issie Swickle of Davie. The orphanage girls are all pros, too. When Sydney Shuck started to lose part of her tattered dress during a dance, she never broke. But the cutest thing you have ever seen is Lilly Mae Stewart as Molly, who cries for her mama, then shakes her tush in a thermal onesie."
BWW New Orleans - 02/10/15
“Issie Swickle is sweet and sincere as Annie...Finally, the orphans are enthusiastic and spontaneous"
NOLA.com - 02/10/15
“Young actress Issie Swickle impresses as the 11-year-old title orphan, and she nicely balances scrappiness, vulnerability, wide-eyed excitement and flat-out cuteness. Plus there's nothing little about her voice, which soars on the show's hopeful signature ballad, "Tomorrow."...Swickle has lots of heart and an impressive amount of spunk..."
NOLA.com - 02/04/15
“Issie Swickle takes on the title role with a spunky, determined performance. She sings her now-classic numbers, such as "Maybe," "Tomorrow" and "I Think I'm Gonna Like It Here," with conviction and a big voice, while still sounding and acting like a kid...Among the gaggle of orphans, the adorable Lilly Mae Stewart stands out as Molly, the littlest of the girls. She steals every scene that she's in."
Baltimore Sun - 01/22/15
“[Swickle] delivers dialogue and songs confidently, and handles stage business like a pro...The ensemble of Annie's orphan pals is certainly a dynamic bunch, capable of gutsy singing and dancing (keep an eye on tiny Lilly Mae Stewart as Molly)."
DC Metro Arts - 01/21/15
“Annie may find happiness elsewhere, but audiences won’t be so eager to leave the delightful company of the little girls at Miss Hannigan’s orphanage. That pint-sized chorus line hits a homer with “It’s the Hard-Knock Life,” nailing all the regimented kicks and twirls while delivering Martin Charnin’s witty lyrics through adoringly toothy grins.
All the young actresses here are winners, with Lilly Mae Stewart as Molly melting most of the hearts as the moppets’ mascot. All of the others, ranging in age from 9 to 11, get oohs and awws of their own in that extended radio spot parody, “You’re Never Fully Dressed Without a Smile.”
Then again, this show’s little orphans have a truly first-rate performing model in young Issie Swickle, who is sensational as Annie. A belter with a distinctive and musical quality to her voice, Miss Swickle never misses a beat nor a punch line, and tugs at our heartstrings even when sharing the stage with another scene-stealer, like that handsome mutt that plays her dog Sandy (Macy or Sunny, depending on which performance you attend)."
MLife - 01/13/15
“West Michigan audiences are bound to be charmed by the all-in, enthusiastic performances of a large ensemble cast featuring seven children, including Issie Swickle as the title character. Swickle exudes confidence and spirit, transitioning easily from quiet solos ("Maybe") to energetic dance routines ("It's the Hard Knock Life") to big, show-stopping numbers ("Tomorrow"). She and Oliver "Daddy" Warbucks (Michigan's own Gilgamesh Taggett) have an easy chemistry, something they both share with the lovely Grace Farell (Ashley Edler)."
Vital Voice - 01/13/15
“Issie Swickle, who played Annie, did a knock out performance, but there are two other cast members I would like to give big props to Lilly Mae Stewart (Molly) and Lynn Andrews (Miss Hannigan). Molly is the youngest and smallest of the orphans, but Lilly brought her character to a level that took a stand above the rest. Being full of life and cute as a button, I look forward as to where her acting career takes her."
UT Daily Beacon - 01/08/15
“In this production, that little girl was Issie Swickle, whom otherwise should be known as the perfect Annie. For such a young person, she impressively commanded the stage with her powerful voice and enthusiasm. Waiting for something to go wrong proved fruitless as the show went on. She is Annie.
It seemed, though, that all the youngsters ruled the stage. Second only to Annie were the group of orphans she affectionately called ‘the kids.’ As the later hour approached, it seemed at some point they’d show their weariness, but like Swickle, all seven of them sang and danced like they’d been doing so for years. Often accompanied by no older actors on stage, they had free will to do just about whatever they wanted. They chose excellence."
The Daily Times - 01/07/15
“Issie Swickle...hit all the right notes and proved to be an enjoyable Annie."
Encore Michigan - 12/17/14
“On opening night, Annie was played by Adia Dant, and Dant's usual role of Pepper was played by Angela Pallaini. Dant was as adorable as one expects from Annie. Thanks to her charisma, costuming and red hair, she always owned the stage when she was on it. All eyes were drawn to this little spitfire who could alternately charm and flame. All of the orphans made a fantastic ensemble, their dances looking like a natural play and their songs simply the way they communicated with each other through the rough life they found themselves in."
Lansing City Pulse - 12/17/14
“As the title character, understudy Adia Dant did a remarkably serviceable job opening night."
Lansing State Journal - 12/17/14
“Much of that energy comes from the youngsters in the cast, who portray the orphans including Annie, who fail to be intimidated by the cruel Miss Hannigan who runs the orphanage. From their opening number, "It's a Hard Knock Life," charging about the stage with mops and buckets, these youngsters captivated the audience. That of course, includes Annie, who on opening night was played by an understudy, Adia Dant, substituting on an hour's notice for Issie Swickle, who is expected to return to the role for the rest of the run...she quickly hit her stride, and it was soon clear that this young actress could easily carry the show. She is a nimble dancer with a strong voice, and the ability to express Annie's spunkiness and optimism."
Vizion Magazine - 12/17/14
“Florida native, Issie Swickle, makes her National Tour debut as the title character, bringing energy and life to the iconic character. The nine year old actress proves to live up to the role as she sings some of Broadway most treasured numbers such as "Hard Knock Life" and "Tomorrow". Of course, Swickle is not alone on stage when it comes to child actors. She is accompanied by many talented young individuals who have embodied their roles as well. The orphans include Angelina Carballo, Adia Dant, LillyBea Ireland, Sydney Shuck, Lilly Mae Stewart, and Isabel Wallach."
Greater Lansing Theatre - 12/16/14
“The orphan ensemble was adorable and energetic."
RiverFront Times - 12/08/14
“Issie Swickle, who in the titular role of Annie delivers an unfailingly sunny performance, holds her own in numbers like "Tomorrow" and "Maybe." She plays well opposite Gilgamesh Taggett"
BroadwayWorld St. Louis - 12/03/14
“Issie Swickle does a very nice job as Annie, giving this spirited tyke just the right mix of spunk and pathos required by the role."
STL Today - 12/05/14
“The big, velvety orchestra lavishes the score with love — and so does Issie Swickle, who plays Annie. With her powerful voice and sunny manner, she serves the material in style...The cast of precocious kids show a level of poise and stage presence beyond their years. Led by Annie herself (Issie Swickle), the girls, Lilly Mae Stewart, Adia Dant, Isabel Wallach, Angelina Carballo, Lillybea Ireland and Sydney Schuck, are all as talented as they are adorable."
Eagle Tribune - 12/01/14
“Swickle, a 9-year-old vocal powerhouse...The ensemble and supporting cast are strong — especially all those little orphans."
Entertainment Monthly - 11/23/14
“Optimistic and genuine, Swickle fits well into the role’s almost forty-year-old shoes, showing her ability to both lead the younger cast and keep up with the older."
T2Online - 11/21/14
“The girls are little, but gifted with competent voices."
The Chicago Beat - 11/20/14
“... the orphans are a winning group, particularly Adia Dant as brutish Pepper, Angelina Carballo as sassy July and Lilly Mae Stewart as Molly, the youngest of the gang. Werner’s Lily is hilariously adorable..."
Chicago Now - 11/20/14
“First off, the show must have a strong Annie and Issie Swickle fills the bill with her commanding voice and stage presence....The orphans were on target with the small curly haired Lilly Mae Stewart playing a fiery spirited Molly."
Chicago Tribune - 11/20/14
“Issie Swickle, who plays the title role, is a worthy heir to the long line of Annies. In fact, the young Swickle and Gilgamesh Taggett (this cast has some names) had me quite verklempt in the last scene between Daddy Warbucks and his potential adoptee...Oh, and one last thing. This show has the best Molly I've ever seen in Lilly Mae Stewart. There's a young woman who knows how to make a role her own. Watch out Annie, Molly's a-coming."
Huffington Post - 11/20/14
“the clear-voiced Issie Swickle finds Annie's strength and heart. Clearly the audience, including the rows of young theatergoers, bought into the orphan's rise to success story. The rest of the orphans also delight, including a scene-stealing Lilly Mae Stewart as Molly (she'll make an exceptional Annie one day)."
Sun Times - 11/19/14
“To the role that is as demanding of its little female star as “Billy Elliot” is of its little male star, Swickle brings the quality of a pre-pubescent Ethel Merman. She has a big, interesting voice, excellent diction and an unaffected spirit...It is Molly (Lilly Mae Stewart), the tiny little orphan she befriends, who easily steals every scene she’s in with her elfin spontaneity and wit. It is impossible to take your eyes off her, whether she is dancing with the somewhat older orphans, hiding in a laundry basket or playing a ventriloquist’s dummy."
Wicked Local - Abington - 11/10/14
“As the resourceful heroine who just wants to find her long-lost parents, sweet-voiced Issie Swickle imbues Annie with winning warmth and believability. She is especially affecting on the gentle lament, “Maybe,” which opens both acts. Swickle is ably aided by a terrific troupe of young performers – Angelina Carballo, Adia Dant, Lillybea Ireland, Sydney Shuck, Lilly Mae Stewart, and Isabel Wallach – as her fellow orphans. "
Boston Globe - 11/07/14
“A 9-year-old actress by the wonderful name of Issie Swickle plays Annie, and she’s terrific, particularly when she’s singing classics like “Tomorrow” and “Maybe.” Her bell-clear voice rings out every little emotional turn in the lyrics...In the show’s long history, Miss Hannigan’s bunk beds have hosted a few future stars. If you go, keep your eye on 9-year-old Lilly Mae Stewart, who plays the littlest orphan, Molly, with thermonuclear cuteness. She tumbles into a laundry cart like a slapstick veteran, but draws the eye just standing there. At the least, she’ll be playing Annie somewhere in a year or two. "
Mom's Favorite Stuff - 11/07/14
“Issie Swickle (Annie) and Lynn Andrews (Miss Hannigan) were standouts, but the entire cast was fabulous."
Theatre Mirror - 11/07/14
“The canine co-star interacts with 9-year-old star, Issie Swickle, of Davie, Fla., as though they belong together. Making her tour debut, Issie is a talented little girl with a big voice, an inspiration as Annie. She’s a force to watch for in the future. So’s plucky scene stealer Lilly Mae Steward, also making her national tour debut as little orphan, Molly. She dances, tumbles, sings, and draws sympathy and laughter like a seasoned performer."
The LFB - 11/06/14
“9 year-old Issie Swickle who plays Annie was simply a delight to watch. She seemed comfortable in her role and had an infectious and energetic personality. She performed her musical numbers with ease and confidence.
The cast of orphans were talented and did an amazing job especially Lilly Mae Stewart as Molly. I don’t think she could have been any cuter!"
On Boston Stages - 10/30/14
“Issie Swickle has all the qualities you’d want in an Annie — brimming with confidence and charisma, and a voice that might reach the last row of the cavernous Wang even without a microphone.
She’s in sync with whomever she’s acting with, be it the other orphans — Lily Mae Stewart, Adia Dant, Isabel Wallach, Angelina Carballo, Lillybea Ireland, and Sydney Shuck — Miss Hannigan (Lynn Andrews), the odious caretaker of the orphanage, Daddy Warbucks (Gilgamesh Taggett) or President Franklin Roosevelt (Allan Baker)."
PGH Collective - 10/30/14
“Issie Swickle as Annie exuded a powerhouse of talent, capturing the audience with her delicately powerful voice and sharp-witted humor. It was a joy to watch her control the stage. Her blinding sense of optimism and faint shadow of wonder, seemingly crippled by her deplorable conditions, shows us the meaning of walking through fire with a smile."
Triblive - 10/29/14
“Issie Swickle's Annie is the warm and caring but resilient survivor we want our daughters and granddaughters to be...Annie and her six fellow orphans hit all the expected notes, musically and emotionally."
Edge Miami - 10/09/14
“In the title role, native Floridian Issie Swickle does a great job. While her voice is not as rich as that of Andrea McArdle, the role's creator, it is a fine voice that rings out loud, clear and consistently on pitch. She has the look and the character down pat and she charms the audience from the moment she steps onto the stage."
Florida Theater On Stage - 10/08/14
“The second reason to see this Annie is Annie. Savor the national bow of Davie resident Issie Swickle as she nails the title role with the polish and chops of someone a lot older than her nine years
Now here’s a surprise: She can belt out a song with best of them and she has performer’s pizzazz without self-consciously mugging for applause. But Swickle’s not some blinding strobe light pulling focus from everyone else like such forces of nature as the original Annie, Andrea McArdle. She’s not a dynamo (although she reportedly has that quality), she’s not a mini-Merman (although she reportedly has that ability). She actually acts the part, not performs it – which is probably why Charnin chose her over about 500 other applicants. It’s especially evident in the non-belt numbers such as the wistful opener “Maybe.”
Swickle inhabits a street savvy, scrappy survivor who has spent her entire childhood in a soul-crushing orphanage in the depth of the Depression. So when she sings out loud and strong about the sun coming out tomorrow, this Annie knows whereof she speaks.
Yes, she’s adorable, winsome and charming, but neither she nor the show is a two-dimensional cartoon character. When she makes her second act entrance in the red ringlets and jumper, high-kicking down a curving stairway in the Warbucks mansion, the beams emanating from her face seem genuine even as they are pure Broadway fantasy. To paraphrase the old pop standard, you’re gonna hear from her.
Of course, the moppets are simultaneously appealing and might pick your pocket if you gave them a chance: Adia Dant, Isabel Wallach, Lillybea Ireland, Sydney Shuck, the impossibly cute Lilly Mae Stewart as Molly, and Miamian Angelina Carballo."
Edit International - 10/08/14
“There are seven children in the orphanage and, having been a father and seeing countless amateur performances with children making childish mistakes on stage it was astounding to see this young group performing perfectly with professional confidence."
SouthFlorida.com - 10/08/14
“And for us South Floridians, there is the added thrill of watching one of our own, Davie’s Issie Swickle, play Annie with a relaxed confidence."
SFL Insider - 10/07/14
“The lead role of Annie was played by Issie Swickle, a Davie resident, who was making her national tour debut. Without the slightest bit of jitters, she was on point all night. The thing that I typically find with younger performers is that they don’t provide all the physical antics that should be aligned with their performance, yet Swickle did so in rare form. She along with her orphanage friends really made it difficult to not smile throughout the show, especially during their masterfully choreographed performance of a Hard Knock Life."