Harry Connick Jr has been cast to play Daddy Warbucks in Annie Live!, NBC’s upcoming special inspired by the iconic Tony-winning Broadway musical. He joins as cast that already includes Taraji P. Henson as Miss Hannigan.
A nationwide casting search is underway to play Annie, the orphan who opens the heart of billionaire Sir Oliver “Daddy” Warbucks, played in past movie adaptations by Albert Finney and Jamie Foxx and by Reid Shelton in the original 1977 Broadway musical which won seven Tony Awards including Best Musical.
“I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to play Daddy Warbucks in ‘Annie Live!’ and working alongside Taraji P. Henson is a dream come true,” Connick said Monday. “I love this show, and its musical message of love and hope couldn’t come at a better time.”
The live production of the musical will air Thursday, December 2 on NBC.
Annie Live! will be executive produced by Robert Greenblatt, Neil Meron and Alex Rudzinsky, with Lear deBessonet and Alex Rudzinski co-directing. Choreography will be led by Sergio Trujillo. Paul Tazewell will design costumes. Jason Sherwood will oversee production design. Stephen Oremus will orchestrate the music direction.
The live event is being produced by Chloe Productions.
“Now that the amazing Harry Connick Jr. is set to embody Daddy Warbucks, we look forward to shaping the iconic role to tap Harry’s immense skill set as a multi-talented performer,” said Jen Neal, EVP Entertainment Live Events, Specials and E! News, NBCUniversal Television and Streaming. “He and Taraji P. Henson will anchor the rest of the cast and we can’t wait to see their on-stage dynamic in our version of Annie.”
The Emmy- and Grammy-winning Connick recently fronted the daytime talk show Harry, which ran for two seasons from 2016-18. On Broadway, he scored Tony nominations as both a lead actor in The Pajama Game and as a composer/lyricist for “Thou Shalt Not.” He last performed on Broadway in 2019 in Harry Connick, Jr.: A Celebration of Cole Porter.
By Patrick Hipes // Deadline, Photo by Gavin Bond