Grease Live's Vanessa Hudgens Offers Advice For Annie Live! Cast

Another beloved Broadway musical is set to get the live television treatment, as NBC's Annie Live! will be making its debut in a matter of days. The show will bring together a talented cast, which includes some big names. This falls in line with the star-studded ensembles that have been seen in the past. Vanessa Hudgens is among those who have appeared in the live performances, having had roles in Grease Live and Rent Live. With this, she's offered advice for this latest cast, as they prepare for the performance of a lifetime. 

Vanessa Hudgens received much praise for her role as Rizzo following Grease! Live's release on Fox in 2016.  The performance was particularly bittersweet for her, as her dad passed away from cancer the previous day. The former Disney star then appeared as Maureen in Rent Live (which was also on Fox) three years later. She has plenty of experience, so it makes sense that she would share her wisdom with the cast of Annie Live! during an interview with E! News:

I feel like the musical theater community is a community that comes prepared, so come prepared. And have fun!

At this point, the actress is fairly comfortable with musicals, as her experience with them goes back a ways. It’s hard to forget that years ago, she starred as Gabriella Montez in Disney's High School Musical trilogy. In the years since, she's also starred in stage productions like Gigi and In the Heights. And just recently, she starred alongside Andrew Garfield in Lin-Manuel Miranda's Tick, Tick... Boom!. All in all, if anyone would know what it takes to be in a musical, it'd be her.

As mentioned, NBC and Fox have been doing live theater productions over the years with big names and newcomers. Annie Live!, for example, features Harry Connick Jr. as Daddy Warbucks, Taraji P. Henson as Miss Hannigan and Celina Smith as little orphan Annie. The cast already had a chance to perform in front of a live audience during the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, and it served as a solid preview of what's to come.

Annie Live! marks NBC’s first live musical since 2018's Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concer aired aired on the network for Easter. It will be interesting to see if it lives up to the hype. Of course, many actors have performed the play over the years, but I have no doubts the cast will do a great job. And hopefully, the show will perform well in the ratings and lead to even more live performances in the near future. I mean, let's be honest, it's been way too long since we last got to see a fun, toe-tapping production on the network. 

Don’t miss Annie Live! this Thursday, December 2 at 8 p.m. ET on NBC!

Megan Behnke
Freelance TV News Writer

Passionate writer. Obsessed with anything and everything entertainment, specifically movies and television. Can get easily attached to fictional characters.