NBC continued its run of live musical productions Thursday night with the premiere of Annie Live!. Coming to life again more than four decades after the curtain first went up on the Tony-winning 1977 classic, based on the Little Orphan Annie comic strip, NBC's Annie Live! musical event proved to be a major hit among viewers.
Following the story of Annie, the orphaned girl taken in by millionaire Oliver Warbucks during the Great Depression era and featuring beloved songs like "Tomorrow" and "It's the Hard-Knock Life," Annie Live! starred 12-year-old newcomer Celina Smith in the titular role alongside her trusted sidekick pooch Sandy, portrayed by a dog also named Sandy. Taraji P. Henson, meanwhile, took on the role of Miss Hannigan, who was played by Cameron Diaz in the 2014 Annie movie and Carole Burnett in the 1982 movie. The musical's cast was rounded out by Harry Connick Jr. as Daddy Warbucks, Nicole Scherzinger as Grace Farrell, Tituss Burgess as Rooster Hannigan, Alan Toy as President Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Broadway veteran Megan Hilty as Lily St. Regis.
Annie Live! joined NBC's growing list of musicals, with the network producing a total of six in the past eight years. Those others include 2013's The Sound of Music Live!, 2014's Peter Pan Live!, 2015's The Wiz Live!, 2016's Hairspray Live!, and 2018's Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert, and while some of those have been met with mixed reviews, the overall consensus Thursday night was that Annie Live! hit the nail on the head! Keep scrolling to see what viewers had to say about NBC's latest musical production.
'One of the best live TV musicals'
"[Annie Live!] was fantastic and one of the best live TV musicals I've seen," tweeted one viewer. "Congrats to the cast & crew of the show!"prevnext
'Talent is unparralleled'
"Amen for NYC and all the real Broadway talent you can tell they brought onto this stage tonight," wrote another viewer. "Their talent is unparalleled."prevnext
'Put a smile on my face'
"[Annie Live!] was really quite good – nice wholesome vibes," shared somebody else, with another person responding, "Wasn't it fantastic?! Put a huge smile on my face. The kids were epic!"prevnext
Fans in awe of Smith's performance
During the live broadcast, viewers showed plenty of love for young Smith. One viewer tweeted, "who is this amazing child with the amazing vocal range because she is KILLIN IT."prevnext
The musical was 'just what' fans 'needed'
"Annie is one of my favorite movies. [Annie Live!] was just what I needed this year," tweeted one person.prevnext
Fans applaud disability representation
"So glad to see Alan Toy, a wheelchair using actor, in the role of FDR! Disability representation matters!" applauded another viewer.prevnext
"SUCH a beautiful and heartfelt way to end the show. Acapella, full of beautiful shining faces and voices. This brought tears for real," wrote somebody else.prev