NBC's 10th Broadway Musical telecast, Annie Live!, just debuted last night and we're here to recap all of the best moments.
Annie Live! followed the same classic Broadway tale of an orphan named Annie that has been reimagined multiple times since the orginial show's debut in the 70's. This year, 12-year-old Celina Smith stole the stage as Annie, bringing powerful vocals and a beautiful big smile to the stage and screen.
Also part of the ensemble cast was Harry Connick Jr. as Daddy Warbucks, Taraji P. Henson as Miss Hannigan, Nicole Sherzinger as Grace , Megan Hilty as Lily and Tituss Burgess as Rooster.
In addition to the live studio audience of 500 people, 18.6 million viewers tuned in to watch the cast sing and dance their hearts out.
The opening number of the show was of course "It's a Hard Knock Life", which set the course for the remainder of the performances to be filled with the same energy and dynamism. The choreography for all of the performances were developed by Broadway's own Sergio Trujillo, who also happens to have a Tony Award under his belt, and this performance attested to his brilliance.
The next performance was "Fully Dressed", which happened to be an extended version to include some break dances from the talented children ensemble.
The two first performances in particular were surely the standouts of the night, showcasing all of the hard work and skill the cast has.
We absolutely can't forget to mention the talent of the adult ensemble as well. Harry Connick Jr., even in his bald cap, delivered some great vocals on top of his flawless acting, which made the show's end even more bittersweet.
The adult ensemble performed "I think I'm Gonna Like It Here", "NYC", and "We've Got Annie", all of which were done with top-notch dancing and singing.
In addition to all of the performances throughout the night, a recap wouldn't be complete without noting the best highlights of the night. Annie Live! gave its nod to the 1982 movie rendition by incorporating two songs from the film "Sign" and "We Got Annie".
A tribute to the late Ann Reinking was also made during "We Got Annie", as the yellow chiffon dress that Reinking wore during her performance made its appearance in last night's musical. Nicole Sherzinger definitely did the dress, and Reinking, justice with her flawless routine and vocals.
Another notable highlight of the performance is the musical's set in itself, which was a round stage comprised with simplistic props and decorations. Meant to mirror the horrid conditions of the 1930's Great Depression, Annie Live! excelled at contrasting the bleak, rundown set with the optimistic and positive message that Annie and the show itself have sent to audiences through the past decades.
Although the show did start with some hitches (a mic drop and some camera malfunctions), the entirety of the show was one of NBC's best Broadway Musical telecasts. The talent of the dancing and the voice behind Celina Smith in particular was certainly the brightest aspect of the show, and only further bolstered the geniusness of the remaining cast and crew of Annie Live!
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