Taraji P. Henson, Nicole Sherzinger and Harry Connick Jr. pull off successful night during ‘Annie Live!’

 Taraji P. Henson, Nicole Sherzinger and Harry Connick Jr. pull off successful night during ‘Annie Live!’

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

While the Broadway musical has been loved by viewers since it debuted in 1977, later being adapted into its first film in 1982, the live NBC special Thursday had Twitter singing their praises.

Fans loved hearing the hits like “Tomorrow” and “It’s the Hard-Knock Life,” but it was the latter that had some people pleasantly surprised by the choreography, particularly because of its stepping sequence.

As for the acting performances, while it’s no surprise fans loved Henson as the child-despising head of the orphanage Miss Hannigan, Connick Jr. as Oliver Warbucks, Scherzinger as Grace Farrell, Burgess as Rooster Hannigan and Hilty as Rooster’s girlfriend Lily St. Regis, they especially were surprised 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.

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In fact, Annie Live! was so good that viewers were surprised they watched the entire three hour special, like this person who tweeted:

Overall, it was a fun, light-hearted night, which is exactly what viewers were looking for. 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 December 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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