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Taraji P. Henson, Nicole Scherzinger and Harry Connick Jr. pull off successful night during 'Annie Live!'

·Host & Producer, Yahoo Entertainment
·2 min read
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  • Taraji P. Henson
    Taraji P. Henson
    American actress
  • Megan Hilty
    Megan Hilty
    American musical theatre actress

Annie Live! premiered Thursday on NBC, starring newcomer Celina Smith as the title character alongside Harry Connick Jr., Taraji P. Henson, Nicole Scherzinger, Tituss Burgess and Megan Hilty.

While the Broadway musical has been beloved since its 1977 debuted, and then in 1982 as a hit film adaption, the live NBC special Thursday had Twitter singing the new production's praises.

Fans loved hearing show-stoppers like "Tomorrow" and "It's the Hard-Knock Life" — with the latter pleasantly surprising viewers with its choreography, particularly because of its stepping sequence.

As for the acting performances, fans loved Henson as the child-despising head of the orphanage, Miss Hannigan, Connick Jr. as Oliver "Daddy" Warbucks, Scherzinger as Grace Farrell, Burgess as Rooster Hannigan and Hilty as Rooster's girlfriend, Lily St. Regis, Twitter seemed especially delighted and moved by 13-year-old Celina Smith, who beat out numerous hopefuls in a nationwide search for the coveted role of little orphan Annie.

In fact, Annie Live! was so good that viewers were surprised they stuck around for the entire three-hour, ad-packed special, like this person who tweeted:

The production checked boxes for what viewers were looking for: a fun, light-hearted night of escapism. And with Broadway recently reopening after being shut down for a year-and-a-half due to COVID-19, you can bet your bottom dollar many people will be thinking about heading to the theater as soon as possible for more.

Annie Live! aired Thursday, Dec. 2 at 8 p.m. on NBC.

Watch an emotional night on 'The Voice' which had viewers worked up on Twitter:

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