The former ‘Empire’ lead will play Miss Hannigan in the musical, which is kicking off a search for a young actor to play the title role.
Taraji P. Henson (Empire, Hidden Figures) will star in the musical as Miss Hannigan, the cruel head of the orphanage where young Annie lives and dreams of a better life. The show’s producers are also kicking off a nationwide, virtual search for a young actor to play the title role.
“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,” said Susan Rovner, chairman entertainment content at NBCUniversal Television and Streaming. “Watching her take on this iconic role will be a thrill that has all the makings of must-watch television.”
Annie Live is set to air late in 2021 and will be NBC’s first live musical since Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert in 2018. Former NBC Entertainment chief Bob Greenblatt — who inaugurated NBC’s 21st century run of live musicals with a staging of The Sound of Music in 2013 — and Neil Meron, who with his late producing partner Craig Zadan had a hand in all of NBC’s live musicals, are executive producing.
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