‘Annie Live’ set to air on NBC tonight


(NBC) — “The Sound of Music,” “Peter Pan,” “Hairspray” and “The Wiz” are some of the Broadway musicals that have aired live during the holiday season in recent years on NBC. Thursday, the classic and Tony Award winner “Annie” joins that group.

The music is some of Broadway’s most recognizable, part of what’s made “Annie” an enduring classic.

“Me being able to share the message to everybody puts smiles on their faces, just means the world,” said the show’s star, Celina Smith.

Smith, who is 12, plays the title role, a spunky girl rescued from a miserable, depression-era orphanage.

“I’m excited to be part of a huge production letting the world know that we’re back,” said Taraji P. Henson.

Taraji P. Henson plays the orphanage’s cold-hearted Miss Hannigan and Harry Connick, Jr. is rich Daddy Warbucks who rescues Annie from her surroundings.

“The idea of doing it one time, in front of a huge television audience with no safety net, is where I’m most comfortable,” Connick said.

Smith also seems comfortable in the spotlight of her high-profile role.

“Being able to do the flips and the kicks and the tap dancing, I’m just so excited,” she said.

And Smith’s talent has impressed her co-stars.

“I think her performance work will take people’s breath away as it has literally taken mine away,” said Megan Hilty.

Hilty’s part of a cast that also includes Nicole Scherzinger and Titus Burgess.

“The hardest part is going to be having to say goodbye to them after we drop this curtain,” Connick said.

But they’ll raise it tonight with the promise of holiday fun.

Watch “Annie Live!”  tonight at 7 p.m. on KSN.

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