GET READY FOR A SPECIAL TREAT WHEN "ANNIE LIVE!" AIRS DEC. 2 ON NBC.
Compiled By: Lana K. Wilson-Combs
"ANNIE LIVE!" STARRING TARAJI P. HENSON AIRS DEC. 2 ON NBC
"The Sun'll Come Out Tomorrow" this holiday season as NBC has found its next live musical event: the beloved seven-time Tony Award-winning hit Annie Live! which airs Dec. 2 at 8 p.m. 7c on NBC.
"Annie Live!" features Academy Award-nominated actress Taraji P. Henson (Upcoming, "Minions: The Rise of Gru" ) as the musical's infamous queen of mean, Miss Hannigan. Henson will play opposite Celina Smith in the titular role of Annie. Already a triple threat at the age of 12, Smith was selected in a nationwide casting search and can currently be seen on the series Tyler Perry's Young Dylan.
The holiday musical event also features Tituss Burgess as Rooster Hannigan, Megan Hilty as Lily St. Regis, Harry Connick Jr. as Daddy Warbucks and Nicole Scherzinger as Grace.
Robert Greenblatt will executive produce the telecast along with Neil Meron, who has served as executive producer on all of NBC's live musicals since 2013's The Sound of Music Live!, and most recently the Emmy Award-winning Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert.
Robert Greenblatt brought live musicals back to NBC when he was chairman and is responsible for some of the biggest hits on television over the last two decades. He is also an award-wining television and Broadway producer, the recipient of Golden Globe and Peabody Awards, two Tony Awards and two Olivier Awards.
Neil Meron is the most prolific producer of musicals with former partner Craig Zadan, including the Oscar-winning "Chicago." He received the Emmy for "Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert" and produced all of NBC's live musicals. He also produced "Gypsy" starring Bette Midler and a series of musicals for ABC/Wonderful World of Disney, including the groundbreaking "Cinderella" starring Whitney Houston and Brandy.
Alex Rudzinski will once again take on the role as live television director and executive producer as he did with "Hairspray Live!" and "Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert." His live musical credits also include "Grease Live!" and "Rent: Live," for which he won three Emmys.
"Annie Live!" will be directed by the award-winning Lear deBessonet. Artistic director for New York's revival series, "Encores," she is the recipient of an Obie Award and she created the popular Public Works program at the Public Theatre, which produces community-engaged productions with as many as 200 performers.
Veteran choreographer Sergio Trujillo will choreograph the production. Recipient of the Tony Award for "Ain't Too Proud" and the Olivier Award for "Memphis." His credits also include hits "Jersey Boys" and "The Addams Family."
Paul Tazewell will design the costumes and Jason Sherwood the scenery. Tazewell is a veteran of two NBC live musicals, "The Wiz Live!" (Emmy Award) and "Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert" (Emmy nomination). He recently designed costumes for Steven Spielberg's remake of "West Side Story" and is the designer of the iconic "Hamilton." Jason Sherwood is a two-time Emmy-winning production designer for "Rent: Live" and the 2020 Oscars, having worked extensively in television, in the live music space and in all facets of theater.
Stephen Oremus, two-time Grammy- and Tony-winning music supervisor and orchestrator, will head the music department for "Annie Live!" as he did for "The Wiz Live." His blockbuster credits include: "Wicked," "Frozen," "The Book of MormonÃ¢" and "Kinky Boots."
The live event is being produced by Chloe Productions.
Editor's Note: Don't miss "Annie Live!" Dec. 2 at 8 p.m. 7c on NBC. Information in this report including photo obtained from NBC publicity.
OTHER TV NEWS:
ROCK AND ROLL HALL OF FAME INDUCTEE LL COOL J RINGS IN THE HOLIDAYS AS HOST OF "THE NATIONAL CHRISTMAS TREE LIGHTING," ON CBS, DEC. 5
The National Christmas Tree Lighting, will be broadcast for the first time on the CBS Television Network, Dec. 5 (8:30-9:30 PM, ET/PT).
This beloved American tradition, presented by the National Park Service (NPS) and National Park Foundation (NPF), will feature a star-studded lineup of musical performances by Chris Stapleton, H.E.R., Juanes, Keb' Mo', Kristin Chenoweth, Maren Morris, Patti LaBelle and Billy Porter singing holiday favorites.
In addition to the official lighting of the National Christmas Tree on the Ellipse in President's Park in Washington, D.C., the event will also feature performances by the U.S. Army Band Downrange and the Howard Gospel Choir.
For more event information and updates, please visit thenationaltree.org and follow President's Park on Facebook and Twitter.
ABOUT THE NATIONAL PARK FOUNDATION:
The National Park Foundation works to protect wildlife and park lands, preserve history and culture, educate and engage youth, and connect people everywhere to the wonder of parks. We do it in collaboration with the National Park Service, the park partner community, and with the generous support of donors, without whom our work would not be possible. Learn more at nationalparks.org.
The National Christmas Tree Lighting is produced by White Rose Way Entertainment. Kristi Foley and Leon Knoles are executive producer and Renato Basile is producer. Knoles will direct the special.
Editor's Note: Information used in this report obtained from CBS publicity.