Broadway has been the jumping board for several actors in the entertainment business. Before becoming the seasoned, A-lister actors they are today, Denzel Washington, Antonio Banderas, Robin Williams, Chris Evans and Taye Diggs starred in numerous Broadway productions. Joining the long list of Hollywood talents who’ve successfully transitioned from stage to film, now comes actor Tituss Burgess.
The 42-year-old has made himself quite the household name in Broadway. After taking a short break from stage work, the six-time Emmy nominee will return to the Broadway stage once again this December. Last Wednesday, The Hollywood Reporter announced that Tituss Burgess will star in NBC’s Annie Live! Special. Looks lke Titus just can’t stay away from the stage.
The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt actor has starred in numerous stage productions. His debut Broadway performance came in 2005 when he starred in the production of Good Vibrations. Burgess’s additional titles include Jersey Boys, The Little Mermaid and Guys and Dolls.
Over the years, Tituss Burgess has played some of the most memorable characters in film. On the 2015 Netflix comedy Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, Burgess starred as the gay wannabe-Broadway actor Titus Andromedon. The role helped him snag five Emmy nominations.
Afterwards, Burgess was nominated for an Outstanding Character Voice-Over Performance award during the 2021 Primetime Emmy Awards for his work in Apple Tv’s Central Park. Recently, he took on the role as Rev. Dr. James Cleveland in the Aretha Franklin biopic Respect.
Now Burgess will take on yet another unforgettable role in NBC’s Annie Live! Special, starring as the brother of the villainous Miss Hannigan, Rooster Hannigan. During an exclusive interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Burgess gushed about his role on the Broadway production.
“I’ve always wanted to play the villain,” he said.
On the same day, Burgess took to Instagram and Twitter to spread the news about his newest role. “The Rooster's outta the bag!!!! "ANNIE" LIVE! here we come 😍🐔" he wrote on his social media pages.
Not to mention, he’s following in the footsteps of other actors who’ve claimed the role as the malicious Rooster Hannigan. Both timeless talents, Tim Curry and Alan Cumming have took on the role as Miss Hannigan’s brother. Though, Tituss Burgess has already established himself as a sought-after actor in Hollywood. Burgess will even work alongside other great talents in the Annie Live! Special.
Empire’s Taraji P. Henson will join Burgess on the live production, taking on the role as the infamous Miss Hannigan. The additional roles of Grace Farrell and Daddy Warbucks will go to Pussycat Doll’s frontwoman Nicole Scherzinger and actor Harry Connick Jr. Unfortunately, there’s no word yet of who the starring role of Annie will go to yet. Though, the cast crew is still on the lookout for the perfect actress.
With such great talent, Annie Live! will go off without a hitch. Already, the musical has become one of the greatest shows in Broadway history. Having started off as comic strip by Harold Gray, "Annie" has become a worldwide phenomenal. The musical has been praised by audiences for its several stage, television and movie adaptations.
Even Annie’s musical score has become just as famous. Classics like "Tomorrow," "It’s A Hard-Knock Life," "Maybe," "Little Girls," "Easy Street," and "NYC” have gone on to become instant favorites. Much of the music was originally produced by Charles Strouse and the lyrics by Martin Charnin.
Soon after, Thomas Meehan adapted the songs for the stage. It’s no wonder that the Grammy-award winning musical has lasted for over 40 years on Broadway.
During a press release, NBCUniversal Television’s spokesperson Susan Rovner expressed her sheer excitement over the return of the musical during the holidays.
“As we look to drive big live audiences for NBC, we could think of no better way than to bring back the network’s holiday musical tradition . . .”
Additionally, Rovner relayed her gratitude for the NBC production team making Annie Live! a reality.
“And there are no better partners to do this with than the incredible Neil Meron and Bob Greenblatt, who oversaw every live musical during the years he ran NBC. Under their leadership, 'Annie Live' will bring a fresh perspective to this timeless classic, coupling a dynamic first-class creative team with casting choices that will ensure this is a must-watch event for the whole family.”
Obviously, the NBC network is expecting a huge turn-out for the musical. Not only will the classic Broadway musical be live, but it’ll also feature some of today’s biggest stars, like Tituss Burgess.