Recap: The 5 Best Things About ANNIE LIVE! on NBC

"Annie" is one of the most beloved and biggest hits in Broadway history and the winner of seven Tony Awards, including Best Musical.

By: Dec. 03, 2021
Recap: The 5 Best Things About ANNIE LIVE! on NBC

Last night, the sun came out on NBC with the airing of ANNIE LIVE! featuring an all-star cast of talent from Broadway, Hollywood, and beyond!

"Annie" is one of the most beloved and biggest hits in Broadway history and the winner of seven Tony Awards, including Best Musical.

It has been licensed and performed in 50 countries and translated into eight languages. Based on the Harold Gray comic strip "Little Orphan Annie" that debuted in 1924, the musical premiered on Broadway in 1977 and initially ran for over four years.

See our picks for the best moments from the live broadcast of this Broadway classic!

The Cast

Making these well-worn characters feel fresh while retaining their loveable familiarity was a stellar cast stacked with A-list talent with chemistry to spare. Young star Celina Smith shone in the title role bringing the character's indefatigable spirit and beyond-her-years street smarts to life with humor, heart, and a powerful singing voice.

Rounding out the cast was Emmy-winner Taraji P. Henson who showed off her singing chops delivering a knock-out take on "Little Girls," multi-hyphenate legend Harry Connick, Jr. who gave us a likeable Mr. Warbucks with a talent for tickling the ivories, and pop star Nicole Scherzinger who cemented her status as a true triple-threat in the role of Grace Farrell.

Broadway belters Tituss Burgess and Megan Hilty completed the leading cast, deflty stepping into the conniving shoes of Rooster Hannigan and Lily St. Regis. The ensembles, both big and small, brought their A-game from the first note to the final curtain.

The Choreography

Tony Award-winner Sergio Trujillo, currently represented on Broadway by Ain't Too Proud, delivered a new and exciting spin on the show's choreography, delivering a wealth of show-stopping dance sequences.

The orphan's numbers, "It's A Hard Knock Life," and "You're Never Fully Dressed Without A Smile" featured a newly extended dance breaks to showcase the multitalented orphan ensemble, and leapin' lizards did they deliver. This talented troupe of teens and tots brought the 'wow' with a stepping sequence, as well as impressive tumbling and acrobatics that called to mind the athletic choreography from the 1982 film adaptation.

The show's adult ensemble continued the excitement with stunning turns in, "I Think I'm Gonna Like It Here," "NYC," and "We Got Annie," pulling out all the stops with dance and acrobatics to create some truly thrilling moments.

Movie Moments!

As we mentioned above there were numerous allusions to the 1982 film adaptation throughout the broadcast including the inclusion of two of the film's songs, "Sign" and "We Got Annie."

Costume designer Emilio Sosa also brought some of the more iconic film looks into the show, including ruffly floral frocks inspired by Carol Burnett's Miss Hannigan, as well as some iconic looks derived from Ann Reinking's wardrobe for Grace Farrell, including a peacock blue skirt suit, an icy blue tie-neck dress, and...

A Tribute to Ann Reinking

The yellow chiffon dress Ann Reinking wore for "We Got Annie" in the film also made an appearance during the number on last night's show. The song was specifically added to the show as a tribute to the late dance icon. It is no simple feat to step into the shoes of such a legendary performer, but Nicole Scherzinger rose to the occasion with aplomb as she and the ensemble absolutely nailed the number in a fashion that would have made Miss Reinking very proud.

An Optimistic Message

Annie's optimism has always been the hallmark of its brand and this production put that virtue to excellent use, using the show's down-and-out setting of The Great Depression to mirror our own hardships as we muddle our way through the Covid-19 world. In times as frightening and confusing as these, it never hurts to be reminded that one of these tomorrows, the sun'll come out once more.


ANNIE LIVE! Wins Emmy For Outstanding Hairstyling Photo
ANNIE LIVE! Wins Emmy For Outstanding Hairstyling

NBC's Annie LIVE! has won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Hairstyling for a Variety, Nonfiction or Reality Program. The Emmy was awarded to Mia Neal, the Department Head Hairstylist, and Leah Loukas, the Assistant Department Head Hairstylist. Annie LIVE! starred Celina Smith, Taraji P. Henson, Harry Connick Jr., Tituss Burgess, and more.

ANNIE LIVE! Draws 5.2 Million Viewers Photo
ANNIE LIVE! Draws 5.2 Million Viewers

Annie Live!, NBC's latest live television musical, scored 5.2 million viewers in its broadcast, leading the non-NFL programming on Thursday night. See how Annie's ratings compare to NBC's past live musicals, including The Sound of Music, The Wiz, Hairspray, The Grinch Musical, and more. The musical starred Celina Smith, Taraji P. Henson, and more.

Review Roundup: ANNIE LIVE! Comes to NBC Photo
Review Roundup: ANNIE LIVE! Comes to NBC

The critics have weighed in on NBC's latest live television musical. The live holiday spectacular starred Celina Smith as Annie, 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. See what the critics thought now!

LISTEN: ANNIE LIVE! Soundtrack Out Today Photo
LISTEN: ANNIE LIVE! Soundtrack Out Today

Available everywhere now, the soundtrack features vocals by Harry Connick, Jr., Nicole Scherzinger, Tituss Burgess and Megan Hilty, with newcomer Celina Smith in the titular role of Annie and Taraji P. Henson. The album will also be released in CD format beginning January 21, 2022. Pre-order the CD and stream the new soundtrack now!



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