Annie Live! has found its second villain.
Tituss Burgess joins Taraji P. Henson in NBC’s adaptation of the Tony-winning musical. He is cast in thhe scene-stealing role of Rooster. Rooster is the underhanded brother of the ruthless Miss Hannigan (P. Henson). Miss Hannigan is in charge of the orphanage where Annie lived but she also hated little girls.
Together they will hatch a plan to deceive Harry Connick Jr’s Daddy Warbucks and Nicole Scherzinger’s Grace to make a fortune off of little orphan Annie.
“I’ve always wanted to be a villain,” said Burgess.
The title character has yet to be cast. The show’s producers are also kicking off a nationwide, virtual search for a young actor to play the title role.
Based on the classic comic strip Little Orphan Annie, the show features music by Charles Strouse, lyrics by Martin Charnin and book by Thomas Meehan. The original Broadway production opened in 1977 and ran for nearly six years, won seven Tony Awards and includes the now-standard songs “Tomorrow” and “It’s the Hard Knock Life.” The musical has been adapted for film several times, including in 1982, 1999 and 2014.
Annie Live! comes from Chloe Productions and is being executive-produced by Robert Greenblatt, Neil Meron and Alex Rudzinski. The latter will co-direct with Lear deBessonet. Sergio Trujillo will choreograph, Paul Tazewell will design the costumes, Jason Sherwood will oversee production design and Stephen Oremus will serve as musical director.
Additional casting will be announced in the coming months.
Annie Live! airs on Thursday, December 2