Celina Smith is set to play Annie in NBC’s upcoming Annie Live! holiday production.
The network revealed the exciting news Tuesday: “Already a triple threat at the age of 12, Smith will light up centre stage with an all-star ensemble that includes Taraji P. Henson as Miss Hannigan, Harry Connick Jr. as Daddy Warbucks, Nicole Scherzinger as Grace and Tituss Burgess as Rooster,” The Wrap reported.
It was subsequently announced on Sept. 1 that Jane Krakowski (“Dickinson”) will reunite with her “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” co-star, Burgess, after she was cast as Lily St. Regis in the live production.
Smith will belt out classics including “Maybe”, “Tomorrow” and “It’s a Hard Knock Life”.
The 12-year-old Atlanta native has previously played Young Nala in the national touring company of “The Lion King” and also appeared on the Nickelodeon TV series “Tyler Perry’s Young Dylan”.
“It’s an honour 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 in a statement.
She told “Today” how she found out she had got the part: “We were in my mom’s room and my team called and they were like, ‘What are you going to be doing this October?’
“I was like, ‘I don’t know.’ And then they were like, ‘You’re going to be in New York doing Annie Live! this October.’ And I screamed!”
After a nationwide casting search, we can exclusively reveal Celina Smith will play the title role in NBC’s upcoming holiday production of “Annie Live!”
— TODAY (@TODAYshow) August 24, 2021
Annie Live! will air Thursday, Dec. 2, at 8 p.m. ET/PT on NBC.