Handsome golden retriever Reggie has a new “leash on life”

Bryn Bookstaver and her buddy Reggie prepare for their roles in “Annie, Jr.” (Photo by Dan Luner)


Pretty pooch makes his debut as Sandy in “Annie, Jr.”

As a member of the Bookstaver pack, Reggie has always enjoyed the easy life of a dog, filling his days with fetching, eating, and sleeping. But now that he’s taking on the role of Sandy, not only is he learning his stage cues, but he’s bringing lots of joy to the young cast and production team at Upper Darby Summer Stage.

Reggie will take center stage along with Anna Rudegeair of Ardmore  who plays Annie, as Upper Darby Summer Stage presents “Annie, Jr.” on August 1, 2, 3. The Chicago Tribune called “Annie,” “…one of the best family musicals ever penned.”

Reggie found his way into the cast of “Annie, Jr.” when his pack-mate Bryn Bookstaver landed the role of “The Star to Be” in the production. Director Mary Leigh Filippone wanted to find a real dog for the role versus using a cast member dressed in a dog suit.

Prior to moving to this area from Virginia, Bryn took acting lessons and had fallen in love with singing and performing. A neighbor told her mother about the Upper Darby Summer Stage program and she started in Children’s Theater last year. It has provided Bryn with opportunities to broaden her knowledge of theater, not to mention making new friends. “When I moved here, I didn’t know anyone, and so Summer Stage was a great way for me to meet new people. Everyone here has made me feel so comfortable and accepted,” says Bryn. “I just love it.”

As for her dog, Reggie, he’s been a true asset to the cast. The cast has been “working really hard…We blocked the entire show in five days and within a week they were off-book. But most importantly, even though it’s hard work, we’re having a lot of fun,” says Filippone. “Reggie has been a wonderful addition to the experience for the cast. He’s so happy and brings a lot of positive energy every day!”

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