Broadway alum and six-time Emmy nominee Tituss Burgess is headed for Easy Street! Burgess will play Rooster, the underhanded brother of the ruthless Miss Hannigan, in NBC’s previously announced Annie Live! Burgess joins a cast that includes Harry Connick Jr. as Sir Oliver “Daddy” Warbucks, Nicole Scherzinger as Grace Farrell and Taraji P. Henson as Miss Hannigan. The live production of the Tony-winning hit musical will air on December 2 at 8PM ET on NBC.
“I’ve always wanted to be a villain,” said Burgess in a statement. Burgess is perhaps best known for his Emmy-nominated turn on Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. He has been seen on Broadway in The Little Mermaid, Jersey Boys, Good Vibrations and Guys and Dolls. He can currently be seen in the animated musical comedy series Central Park and appears as Rev. Dr. James Cleveland in the Aretha Franklin biopic Respect, starring Jennifer Hudson.
Annie Live! will be the sixth live musical event for NBC following The Sound of Music Live! in 2013, Peter Pan Live! in 2014, The Wiz Live! in 2015, Hairspray Live! in 2016 and Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert on Easter in 2018.
Annie features music by Charles Strouse, lyrics by Martin Charnin and a book by Thomas Meehan. It first bowed on Broadway in 1977 and won seven Tony Awards that year, including Best Musical. It has since had two Broadway revivals and two major movie adaptations. The role of Rooster was originated on Broadway in 1977 by Robert Fitch and played on screen by Tim Curry in 1982 and Alan Cumming on television in 1999.