*Taraji P. Henson has joined the cast of “Annie Live!” as orphanage boss Miss Hannigan.
“Carol Burnett, who brought Miss Hannigan to life in the classic 1982 movie, is someone I have studied and idolized as far back as I can remember,” said Henson. “So when the opportunity came to me to join NBC and this incredible group of producers, I jumped! Carol, I hope to do you proud!”
Susan Rovner, chairman of entertainment content at NBCUniversal Television and Streaming, added: “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,’ it absolutely applies to Taraji as well.”
“Watching her take on this iconic role will be a thrill that has all the makings of must-watch television.”
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Per press release, the search is on for a young, future star of any ethnicity to bring optimism, spunk, honesty and a wisdom beyond their years to the classic role. Auditions will happen virtually, so Annie hopefuls from all over should get ready to bet their bottom dollar and visit https://castittalent.com/Annie_Live for more information and a link to upload their audition. Rehearsals will be in October/November 2021 in New York.
“Annie Live!” will be executive produced by Robert Greenblatt, Neil Meron, and Alex Rudzinsky, with Lear deBessonet and Alex Rudzinski sharing the directing duties. Choreography will be led by Sergio Trujillo. Paul Tazewell will design costumes. Jason Sherwood will orchestrate production design. Stephen Oremus will oversee the music direction. The live event is being produced by Chloe Productions.
“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.
“Annie Live!” is scheduled to air Dec. 2 on NBC.