See the First Photo of the Annie Live! Cast Together

Bet your bottom dollar Taraji B. Henson, Harry Connick Jr. and Celina Smith are ready to knock your socks off! Get the first look at Annie Live! before the Dec. 2 musical event on NBC.

By Samantha Bergeson Oct 26, 2021 4:00 PMTags
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You're never fully dressed without a smile—and the first look at the Annie Live! cast together will surely put a grin on your face!

NBC's live holiday musical event, premiering Dec. 2, stars Taraji P. Henson as orphanage villain Miss Hannigan, Harry Connick Jr. as "Daddy" Warbucks and newcomer Celina Smith in the titular role of Annie. Nicole Scherzinger co-stars as Warbucks' secretary Grace, Jane Krakowski is Lily and Tituss Burgess plays Hannigan's brother Rooster. 

And, E! News has an exclusive sneak peek at the Annie Live! poster, a modern interpretation of the classic Broadway artwork. Connick Jr. debuts his bald look, as Henson looks especially mischievous as Hannigan. Plus, Smith kicks up her heels as Annie's trusty dog Sandy has her back—literally!

Smith landed the part of Annie after a nationwide search for young talent. "I was bouncing off the walls, I kid you not," Smith gushed during E! News' Daily Pop on Oct. 6, reflecting on when she learned she got the part. "Like, you could've sworn there was a kangaroo in the house or something. It was amazing and it was probably one of the best moments of my entire life."

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Smith continued, "It's 2021, and everything that happened last year…it was crazy. So, I feel like all the emotions that were going on, I can kind of apply that, just because of the message of Annie. You know, it brings hope and just a sense of happiness." 

And, while Smith may have been especially starstruck by co-stars Henson and Burgess, it's clear she's "already a triple threat at the age of 12," per a NBC press statement

Paul Gilmore/NBC

Annie Live! will be NBC's first live musical broadcast since 2019's Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert, starring John Legend and Sara Bareilles. Past productions include The Sound of Music, Peter Pan and Hairspray. 

"When we decided to bring back NBC's holiday musical tradition, we were looking for something that was critically acclaimed and universally beloved—and while that's definitely the case with Annie," Susan Rovner, the chairman of entertainment content at NBCUniversal Television and Streaming, said in a statement obtained by E! News.  

Get the first look at the highly-anticipated musical above!

Annie Live! will be executive produced by Robert GreenblattNeil Meron and Alex Rudzinsky, with Lear deBessonet and Alex Rudzinski co-directing. Choreography will be led by Sergio TrujilloJason Sherwood will oversee production design. Stephen Oremus will orchestrate the music direction. Emilio Sosa will lead costume design. The live event is being produced by Chloe Productions. 

Annie Live! will air Thursday, Dec. 2 at 8 p.m. on NBC.

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