NBC Finds Its Annie For Live Show

NBC has found its young actress to play Annie when the network airs the live musical Dec. 2. Celina Smith, who is 12, has landed the title role in Annie Live! 

Celina Smith stars in Annie Live!

(Image credit: NBC)

Taraji P. Henson will play Miss Hannigan, Harry Connick Jr is Daddy Warbucks, Nicole Scherzinger is Grace and Tituss Burgess portrays Rooster. 

Smith, from Atlanta, played Young Nala in the national touring company of The Lion King and is in the cast on Nickelodeon series Tyler Perry’s Young Dylan

“It’s an honor to follow in the footsteps of the talented young ladies who have played Annie before me and I can’t wait to start this journey,” Smith said.

Annie Live! will be executive produced by Robert Greenblatt, Neil Meron and Alex Rudzinsky, with Lear deBessonet and Alex Rudzinski sharing directing duties. Choreography will be led by Sergio Trujillo. Jason Sherwood will oversee production design. Stephen Oremus will orchestrate the music direction and Emilio Sosa will lead costume design. 

The live event is being produced by Chloe Productions. 

Michael Malone

Michael Malone, senior content producer at B+C/Multichannel News, covers network programming, including entertainment, news and sports on broadcast, cable and streaming; and local broadcast television. He hosts the podcasts Busted Pilot, about what’s new in television, and Series Business, a chat with the creator of a new program, and writes the column “The Watchman.” He joined B+C in 2005. His journalism has also appeared in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Playboy and New York magazine.