it really is a hard-knock life

Watch 3 Little Girls Learn They’ve Been Cast in Annie

A wonderful 2006 documentary, Life After Tomorrow, told the story of former orphans (including Sarah Jessica Parker!), now grown up, looking back on their time in the musical. Tonight, a new documentary called Annie: It’s the Hard-Knock Life, From Script to Stage (which airs on PBS at 9 p.m.) follows the newest Annie wannabes through the casting process for the revival currently on Broadway. But despite the potential for tears, this doc promises to be more about the show’s updated production than its small stars. Choreographer Andy Blankenbuehler even implies he’s changing up the classic “It’s the Hard-Knock Life” setup: “And I’ve spent a lot of hours pacing this room saying, ‘Am I going to give them the buckets, or am I not going to give them the buckets?’” What definitely won’t change? The thrilling moment when a young actress realizes she’ll be living her Broadway dream. In this raw footage from the documentary shoot, watch three future orphans (out of the final rotating cast of eight Annies) get the callback of their (young) lifetime.

Watch 3 Girls Learn They’ve Been Cast in Annie