Annie Live! Premieres on NBC December 2 | Playbill

Film & TV News Annie Live! Premieres on NBC December 2 The television special, based on the 1977 Broadway musical, stars Celina Smith, Harry Connick, Jr., and Taraji P. Henson.
Taraji P. Henson, Tituss Burgess, Nicole Scherzinger, Celina Smith, and Harry Connick Jr. in Annie Paul Gilmore/NBC

Today! Today! We don't gotta hang on anymore, because Annie Live!, in what has become an (almost) yearly tradition of live television musical events on NBC, airs December 2 at 8 PM ET.

Annie premiered on Broadway in 1977, featuring a score by Charles Strouse and Martin Charnin and a book by Thomas Meehan. Based on the Depression-era newspaper comic series, the musical centers on its plucky title character and her journey from orphanage to the opulent Warbucks mansion.

The new TV special stars Celina Smith as the little orphan, Taraji P. Henson as Miss Hannigan, Harry Connick, Jr. as Daddy Warbucks, Nicole Scherzinger as Grace, Tituss Burgess as Rooster, and Megan Hilty as Lily St. Regis, and Alan Toy as FDR.

Joining Annie at the orphanage are Felice Kakaletris as Molly, Cate Elefante as Kate, Sophie Knapp as July, Tessa Frascogna as Tessie, Arwen Monzon-Sanders as Duffy, and Audrey Cymone as Pepper.

Rounding out the ensemble are Wendi Bergamini, Jadaya Bivins, Brittany Conigatti, Ben Davis, Zachary Downer, Karla Garcia, Kayla Goins, Luke Hawkins, Christopher Hernandez, Afra Hines, Trinity Inay, Jeff Kready, McKenzie Kurtz, Jenny LaRoche, Brandt Martinez, Morgan Marcell, Liz McCartney, Anastacia McCleskey, Giana Rice, Eliseo Roman, Lily Tamburo, Sherrod Tate, Kennedy Thompson, Tanairi Vazquez, Jacob Keith Watson, Alex Wong, and Corde Young.

Lear deBessonet and Alex Rudzinski share directing duties, with choreography by Sergio Trujillo, costumes by Emilio Sosa, production design by Jason Sherwood, and orchestrations by Stephen Oremus. William Berloni, who started his prolific career as a Broadway animal trainer by finding and training Annie's original Sandy, is also on the creative team, having previously worked on NBC's Peter Pan Live! and The Wiz Live!.

The special will be executive produced by Robert Greenblatt, Neil Meron, and Alex Rudzinsky with Chloe Productions as producer.

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