Dog Who played ‘Sandy’ Cut from Australian Production of ‘Annie’ Because of Stage Fright?

“Never work with children or animals,” one said early film comedian W.C. Fields.  As far as the current Australian version of the musical Annie is concerned, the second part of that quote might have something to it. 

The Sydney Morning Herald reports that during opening night of the latest production of Annie at the Lyric Theatre in Sydney, the dog playing Annie’s loyal companion Sandy — Coogee, a one-year-old groodle — didn’t cooperate as planned. 

The problem?  Stage fright!

”As soon as he saw the audience and heard them, he looked really uncomfortable and nervous,” says production assistant Fritha Truscott. “He had his tail between his legs and he looked scared. We didn’t want to put him through that night after night.”   To avoid future problems, Coogee has been cut from the production with an “understudy,” Mickey, taking Coogee’s place along with various other dogs (of various breeds) belonging to the cast and crew to fill in the second dog role in the musical — that of a stray.  Currently Chino, a Maltese-shitzsu owned by actress Chloe Dallimore is playing the role of the stray while Mickey continues to be the top dog.  Nonetheless, the production is looking for a permanent, full-time lead dog.

Of course, the biggest problem was breaking the news of Coogee’s “firing” to the cast — a great of deal of which is made up of children under ten.  Truscott explains that the children were told that Coogee “resigned,” but “Some of the girls were really sad, especially the seven and eight-year-olds.”

Leave a Reply
‘Call Me By Your Name’ Star Timothée Chalamet: “What scares me is being boring”
"At a certain point I was able to come to grips with the idea to just 'be.'" - Timothée Chalamet
‘Phantom Thread’ Star Lesley Manville: “It’s so easy to make someone bad look good on film. In theatre, there’s no hiding place”
"Filming is different. You’re getting a moment right. You can go in and create something very good, very quickly. That’s a different challenge to having five, six weeks to rehearse a play.” - Lesley Manville
Chadwick Boseman on ‘Black Panther’ and How He Refocused His Career
"As soon as I came to L.A., things immediately shifted for me." - Chadwick Boseman
Bernadette Peters on Returning to Broadway and Why She is Still Trying to Improve Her Craft
"You have to do your best to fulfill the role, not fulfill yourself" - Bernadette Peters
Ellen Pompeo: “Acting, to me, is boring”
"Anybody can be good on a show season one and two. Can you be good 14 years later? Now, that's a f*ckin' skill." - Ellen Pompeo