Annie rises to the stage Wednesday


Submitted Photo

Headshot: Johnathan Cobrda; Cobrda will rise to the stage as Harold Ickes, a U.S. Presidental Cabinet member, during his touring debut in “Annie” on Wednesday, February 24.

Tony recipient and creator of “Annie” Martin Charnin returns as director of Broadway’s “Annie,” with a touring performance taking the stage February 24 at the Keith Albee Theater.      

“Annie” is the origin of the 70’s classics “It’s a Hard Knock Life,” “Tomorrow,” and “N.Y.C.,” and is based on the original “Little Orphan Annie” comic strip by Harold Gray.

Jonathan Cobrda from Greensboro, North Carolina, is cast as Harold Ickes, a U.S. Cabinet member who took office under President Roosevelt in 1933.

“I went through three rounds of auditions and call-backs and then I finally got the call from the casting director giving me that glorious, glorious news that I got the job,” Cobrda said. “It is literally the best moment in the world to just say that ‘you are covered for the next 10 months, work for us, tell this awesome, awesome story and travel the country doing Annie!’”

The Harold Ickes character is a comic element of the performance, known for the scene in which he is asked by President Roosevelt to sing and perform for the cabinet alongside Annie.

Cobrda said although his all-time favorite number from Annie would “definitely” be “Easy Street,” his favorite piece to perform is “NYC.”

Cobrda, a type one diabetic, is known for his theatrical performances as well as serving as creator and executive producer of “The Sweet n’ Low Show,” which he continues as a passion project.

Upon moving to New York City, Cobrda said he contacted the Sweet n’ Low brand in order to see what they thought of his eponymous work that started in his school days.

“They were so taken with it that they’ve actually teamed up with me in kind of sponsoring me and my story and the show in kind of getting the word out there and welcoming me into that community,” Cobrda said.

Cobrda said he aims to better others who have been similarly diagnosed with type one diabetes though his comedic performances.

Ryan Fischer can be contacted at [email protected].