The Broadway musical “Annie” has been beloved by fans for over 40 years. Those who enjoy the musical will soon be able to watch it live in the comfort of their own homes. According to the New York Times, “Annie Live!” will premiere on December 2, 2021, at 8 p.m. ET/PT, on NBC. The publication noted that the musical also “will be available to stream Friday [December 3, 2021] on Peacock.”
Since 2013, NBC has had a tradition of producing televised musicals. While speaking to the New York Times, Neil Meron, the executive producer for the NBC musical specials, explained why he believed audiences will appreciate “Annie Live!,” amid the coronavirus pandemic.
“What makes this different is that it seems to have come at a right time, where the messages of ‘Annie,’ I think, resonate a lot more. Because it’s all about optimism, and it’s about how one young girl can change things and just open things up again — opening emotions, opening hearts. And I think we crave that now,” explained Meron.
Celina Smith will play the beloved orphan, Annie, and Harry Connick Jr. will portray her billionaire guardian, Daddy Warbucks, per IMDb. Academy Award-nominated actress Taraji P. Henson will also appear as Miss Agatha Hannigan, a role made famous by Carol Burnett in the 1982 film “Annie.”
Taraji P. Henson Discussed Playing Miss Hannigan During a November 2021 Interview
During a November 2021 interview with Extra TV, alongside Celina Smith, Taraji P. Henson shared that she was excited to play the iconic character.
“As a young Black artist studying in college all those years ago and wanting to be and dreaming to be, I never saw myself as Miss Hannigan because back then we weren’t into this non-traditional casting that we’re doing nowadays which is so beautiful,” said the actress.
She also shared her appreciation for Carol Burnett.
“I loved and I studied the great Carol Burnett and I just hope I make her proud. I hope I make the franchise proud. I mean ‘Annie’ has been around for a while, you know, and it’s such a staple and a lot of our memories and when we think of cinematography or musical theater it’s like a staple for all of us,” explained Henson.
The 51-year-old shared that she had not yet had a conversation with Burnett about playing Miss Hannigan.
“I’m sending her a nice package. You know, we’ve been trying to reach out to her but don’t worry I’m going to get in contact with her,” stated the “Hidden Figures” star.
During the Extra TV interview, Smith revealed she was grateful to be working alongside Henson.
“It’s like a blessing, oh my gosh, it’s been amazing and it’s been a wonderful experience,” shared the 13-year-old.
Harry Connick Jr. Shared Information About Playing Daddy Warbucks
While speaking to “The Today Show” in October 2021, Harry Connick Jr. spoke about portraying Daddy Warbucks. He explained the differences between “Annie! Live” to the Broadway musicals he has starred in, including the 2006 revival of “The Pajama Game.”
“I think it’s like walking a tightrope with no net on Broadway but this was like 100 stories higher, like you have one shot to do it live and it’s just very exciting,” shared the actor.