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Jane Krakowski has stepped aside from the musical after coming down with a breakthrough case of COVID-19 while working on a separate project in Ireland. Former Smash star Megan Hilty will take over the role of Lily St. Regis in the production, scheduled to air Dec. 2.
Krakowski is vaccinated against the coronavirus. She caught the breakthrough case despite “a regular testing process and abiding by protocols” on the Ireland project.
“I am beyond thrilled to join this all-star cast, crew and creative team,” said Hilty, a Tony nominee and Broadway veteran. “My family and I have been super fans of Annie for as long as I can remember and we always look forward to the epic televised musicals produced by Bob Greenblatt and Neil Meron, so to be a part of this particular production is an honor and a dream come true. I wish Jane the speediest of recoveries and hope to do her proud.”
Annie Live is a reunion for Hilty and Greenblatt and Meron. While he was head of NBC, Greenblatt ordered Smash to series, and Meron was among the show’s executive producers.
Hilty joins a cast for Annie Live that includes Celina Smith in the title role, Taraji P. Henson as Miss Hannigan, Harry Connick Jr. as Daddy Warbucks, Nicole Scherzinger as Grace and Tituss Burgess as Rooster.
Greenblatt, Meron and Alex Rudzinsky are executive producing the musical, with Lear deBessonet and Rudzinsky sharing directing duties.
Deadline first reported the news.
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