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OPINION | PAPER TRAILS: Little Rock 8-year-old’s role in Broadway’s ‘The Music Man’ is a dream come true

by Sean Clancy | July 24, 2022 at 2:46 a.m.

BROADWAY DREAM FULFILLED On June 21, Kennedy Pitney made her Broadway debut in "The Music Man."

Not bad for someone who hasn't even started third grade.

Kennedy, an 8-year-old from Little Rock, portrays Gracie Shinn alongside stars Hugh Jackman and Sutton Foster in the classic musical by Meredith Wilson.

"It's a really cool experience," Kennedy says from New York City last week. "My dream was to be on Broadway."

She admits to being a bit starstruck by Jackman and Foster.

"The first time I met them I was like, 'Oh, my garsh!'"

Kennedy, a competitive dancer, has been performing since she was 4.

"She would always do musical theater dances," her mother, Kim Pitney, says. "That's what she was really drawn to, and we knew that was a talent and interest of hers."

Getting "The Music Man" role happened quickly. After submitting a video of her dance performances to casting directors on April 28, Kennedy and Kim flew to New York for an audition on May 2. They learned Kennedy had gotten the role when they returned to Little Rock the next day.

"This is a dream come true," Kennedy says. "I had happy tears because I was going to miss everybody, but I was excited to move. I kept asking my mom: 'How long until we move to New York?'"

Kennedy, a student at Chenal Elementary, is living in the Big Apple with her mom and two sisters, London, 10, and Emory, 3, while dad Jared holds down the fort in Little Rock.

Her stint in "The Music Man" is scheduled through Dec. 18. She performs in eight productions a week, and Monday is her day off.

Asked about her future plans, Kennedy says: "If there's another audition, I'd like my mom to put me in it. If not, I'll do competitive dance. I'd like to be in another show. I want to be famous."

@SOFIEBALLGAME'S FIRST PITCH Earlier this month we wrote about Sofie Dill of Little Rock, the Seattle Mariners fan who had a pepperoni pizza delivered to Mariners outfielder Jesse Winker after he'd been tossed from a June 26 game against the Los Angeles Angels for his part in a brawl at Angel Stadium in Anaheim.

Dill tweeted updates throughout the process and the pizza actually made it to Winker, who thanked Dill for her kindness. The man who delivered the pie was inundated with tips, and Dill's thoughtful act became a good-vibes story of sports fandom and pizza.

This afternoon, Dill will be on the mound at Dickey-Stephens Park in North Little Rock to throw the ceremonial first pitch before the Arkansas Travelers play the Frisco Roughriders. And there will be pizza. The Travs, the Mariners' Double A affiliate, are giving a free slice of Shotgun Dan's Pizza to the first 500 fans at the park. Gates open at 12:35, game time is 1:35.


Print Headline: Broadway dream real for LR girl


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