Harry Connick Jr. To Play Daddy Warbucks in Upcoming ‘Annie Live!’ Musical from NBC

by Amy Myers

Emmy- and Grammy-winning Harry Connick Jr. will be joining a joyful, red-haired girl on stage during the performance of the Broadway musical, Annie Live! Besides Connick, Taraji P. Henson will portray the evil Miss Hannigan. The show will air on December 2 on NBC. Connick’s best-known roles are in popular films like Independence Day and P.S. I Love You. Lately, he’s also frequently appeared on the rebooted sitcom, Will & Grace as Leo Markus.

Connick is quite familiar with the Broadway stage already. In the past, Connick received Tony nominations as an actor and composer/lyricist for his performance in The Pajama Game. His last production on the big stage was Harry Connick, Jr.: A Celebration of Cole Porter in 2019.

In his upcoming role as billionaire Oliver “Daddy” Warbucks, he takes in street-smart orphan Annie while on a quest to find her birth parents. Warbucks, his secretary Grace Farrell, and the dog, Sandy all make up Annie’s new, loving family.

“I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to play Daddy Warbucks in ‘Annie Live!’ and working alongside Taraji P. Henson is a dream come true,” Connick said about his new role. “I love this show and its musical message of love and hope couldn’t come at a better time.”

Producing company Chloe Productions is just as thrilled to have Connick on board.

“Now that the amazing Harry Connick Jr. is set to embody Daddy Warbucks, we look forward to shaping the iconic role to tap Harry’s immense skill set as a multi-talented performer,” said Jen Neal, EVP Entertainment Live Events, Specials and E! News, NBCUniversal Television and Streaming.

Harry Connick Jr.’s Accomplishments in Music

Harry Connick Jr. is also no stranger to the recording studio. According to his official website, Connick began singing and playing the piano at age five and hasn’t stopped since. He’s created multiple albums, ranging in genres from jazz, to pop to Christmas music. Most recently, in 2020, Connick came out with a faith-based album titled, “Alone with My Faith.” While in lockdown from the COVID-19 pandemic, Connick wrote every lyric and played every instrument.

For Harry Connick Jr., the creative energy seemed to flow naturally.

“I would go in the basement, write lyrics, write the melody and then start recording,” Connick shared. “Sometimes I’d start with piano, sometimes I’d start with drums or whatever instrument I thought it needed. Then I would add instruments I thought the song called for… I just kept recording until I got the sounds that I wanted.”

Just like with all of Connick’s performances, he put his heart into each note he sang or played on the new album.

“Sometimes I would sing, [because] I was alone,” he said. “There was no recording engineer. Sometimes a lyric or a particular musical phrase would bring me to tears. As an artist that’s all you can hope for: that the music will move you to an emotional place. That happened quite a bit.”