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Newcomer Celina Smith shines as star of NBC’s ‘Annie Live!’


While the story of Annie is a classic one, NBC’s Annie Live! was able to add their own pizazz and create some very memorable moments on Thursday.

The beloved story about an orphan who is adopted by a billionaire saw newcomer Celina Smith bring the titular role to life, and you can bet your bottom dollar fans were blown away by her performance.

“Celina Smith as Annie is giving ACTINGGG she full on dropped tears live on tv she is a star and she is the moment,” one viewer raved on Twitter. 

Likewise, Taraiji P. Henson‘s Miss Hannigan received lots of praise, with one fan writing, “Taraji p Henson is killing this live annie role the vocals on point.” 

In addition to nailing the casting, NBC’s live version also paid tribute to late Broadway legend Ann Reinking, who portrayed Grace Farrell in the 1982 film, by including the epic dance number “We Got Annie” that had previously been omitted from stage versions of the show. Taking things up a notch, Nicole Scherzinger as Farrell, belted out the jazzy hit with a dance number complete with upside-down singing and a somersault.

The show also included its familiar songs “It’s The Hard Knock Life,” “Easy Street,” and, of course, “Tomorrow.”

While fans were overall impressed with the production, there was one aspect that couldn’t be ignored — the bald head that Harry Connick Jr. donned as Daddy Warbucks.

“His bald head is unsettling, but his performance is absolutely crazy good,” one social media user noted.

Annie Live! also starred Tituss Burgess as Rooster Hannigan and Megan Hilty as Lily St. Regis — a.k.a. Annie’s fake parents. 

If you missed Annie Live! or simply can’t get enough, it’s available for streaming now on Hulu, Peacock, and

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