"Oh, my gosh!" said Celina Smith to Andrea McArdle. "It’s so iconic. I mean, I never thought that I would ever, ever meet you, but when I heard you were going to be playing Eleanor Roosevelt, I freaked out!"
And there we have it. McArdle, who originated the role of Annie in the 1977 Broadway production, will be appearing in the added role of Eleanor Roosevelt in the upcoming holiday production of Annie Live!, airing live December 2 at 8 PM ET on NBC. McArdle and Smith—who is taking on the title role in the new adaptation—made the announcement together on the November 12 episode of The Today Show.
This won't be the first time a grown-up McArdle will be returning to the musical on the small screen; she played Star-To-Be in the 1999 TV movie from The Wonderful World of Disney.
In addition to Smith, Annie Live! stars Harry Connick, Jr. as Daddy Warbucks, Taraji P. Henson as Miss Hannigan, Nicole Scherzinger as Grace, Tituss Burgess as Rooster, and Jane Krakowski as Lily St. Regis.