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How to Watch ‘Annie Live!': Where to Find the Musical Event

The musical arrives just in time for the holiday season

Based on Harold Gray’s comic strip “Little Orphan Annie” that debuted in 1924, the musical “Annie” premiered on Broadway in 1977 and initially ran for over four years. One of the most beloved and biggest hits in Broadway history, “Annie” has won seven Tony Awards, including Best Musical. It has been licensed and performed in 50 countries and translated into eight languages, and was first adapted into a film in 1982.

And now, “Annie” is the next live musical event on broadcast television, following in the footsteps of others like “Peter Pan Live!” and “Sound of Music Live!” It’s also the first to air since “The Little Mermaid Live!” in November 2019.

But how can you watch “Annie Live!” and is it available for streaming?

When and Where to Watch “Annie Live!”

The live musical event airs, well, live on NBC on Thursday, Dec. 2 at 8pm ET/PT. Watching on NBC is the only way to experience it live.

Will “Annie Live!” Be Streaming on Peacock?

Yes, “Annie Live!” will be streaming on Peacock but not until the broadcast is over. So, if you want to experience the event live, you’ll need to watch it on NBC. But after it’s over, you’ll be able to stream the event in its entirety on Peacock, which has two plans — a free plan with ads, or an ad-free experience for $4.99 a month.

Who Is in the “Annie Live!” Cast?

Celina Smith will light up stage in the title role of Annie. Smith joins the star-studded cast that includes Taraji P. Henson as Miss Hannigan, Harry Connick Jr. as Daddy Warbucks, Nicole Scherzinger as Grace, Tituss Burgess as Rooster and Megan Hilty as Lily St. Regis. Broadway legend Andrea McArdle — who originated the role of Annie in the 1977 Broadway run of the musical, for which she which received a Tony nomination for Best Lead Actress in a Musical — had to bow out of her casting as Eleanor Roosevelt. Alan Toy will play President Roosevelt. 

The ensemble will feature Felice Kakaletris as Molly, Cate Elefante as Kate, Sophie Knapp as July, Tessa Frascogna as Tessie, Arwen Monzon-Sanders as Duffy and Audrey Cymone as Pepper as well as Wendi Bergamini, Jadaya Bivins, Brittany Conigatti, Ben Davis, Zachary Downer,  Karla Garcia, Kayla Goins, Luke Hawkins, Christopher Hernandez, Afra Hines, Trinity Inay, Jeff Kready, McKenzie Kurtz, Jenny LaRoche, Brandt Martinez, Morgan Marcell, Liz McCartney, Anastacia McCleskey, Giana Rice, Eliseo Roman, Lily Tamburo, Sherrod Tate, Kennedy Thompson, Tanairi Vazquez, Jacob Keith Watson, Alex Wong and Corde Young.

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

What Is “Annie Live!” About?

“Annie” centers around a redheaded orphan who dreams of getting adopted. Known for her positive attitude in a dim orphanage run by the cruel alcoholic Ms. Hannigan, Annie holds down the fort for a lot of her other fellow orphans at St. Hudson’s Home for Girls. Annie’s lucky day arrives when she gets selected to spend a short time at the residence of the wealthy munitions industrialist, Oliver “Daddy” Warbucks. Quickly, she wins over household staff and even the seemingly stony Warbucks with her bright optimism. Warbucks then decides to help Annie find her long-lost parents by offering a reward for them to prove their identity to him and claim her. However, immoral Miss Hannigan arranges a scheme to get the reward money for herself by enlisting her brother, Daniel Francis “Rooster” Hannigan and his wife Lily St. Regis to impersonate Annie’s parents.

Where Can I Watch Other “Annie” Adaptations?

The 1982 film starring Aileen Quinn, Telly Savalas, Carol Burnett, Tim Curry and Bernadette Peters is available on FuboTV.

The 1999 version — starring Kathy Bates, Victor Garber, Kristin Chenoweth and Alicia Morton — is streaming on Disney+.

The most recent remake of “Annie,” done in 2014 — starring Jamie Fox, Quvenzhané Wallis and Rose Byrne — can be streamed for free on IMDb TV. It can also be rented or purchased on Vudu, Google Play, Amazon, and Microsoft Movies and TV.

Are Other Live Musicals Streaming?

Yes, NBC’s live musical versions of “Peter Pan,” “The Wiz” and “The Sound of Music” are all streaming on Peacock right now.