Brent Barrett, whose voice set audiences swooning in the revival of Chicago and the Encores! staging of On a Clear Day You Can See Forever, will be Frank Butler to Reba McEntire's Annie Oakley in Broadway's Annie Get Your Gun, beginning Jan. 26, 2001.
Barrett's romantic, full baritone will be working overtime in the classic Irving Berlin score, heard nightly at the Marquis Theatre. Among his songs: "My Defenses Are Down," "Anything You Can Do," "The Girl That I Marry" and more.
Among Barrett's other New York credits are Brigadoon (also on a studio recording conducted by John McGlinn), Candide and the national tour of Grand Hotel.
Other actors joining Annie Get Your Gun in coming weeks include TV's Larry Storch (of "F Troop" fame) as Sitting Bull, a role he played on tour (beginning in New York Dec. 18) and Conrad John Schuck (once of "McMillan and Wife" and Broadway's Annie) as Buffalo Bill (stepping into the Broadway run the week of Dec. 25).
Cheryl Ladd, the current Annie Oakley, continues to Jan. 25. *
Country diva McEntire's casting was an open secret for many months. She is expected to stay with the musical comedy (her Broadway debut) through May 27, 2001.
Producers Barry and Fran Weissler had been pursuing McEntire for some time, and before the announcement McEntire and Fran Weissler were seen in public together. The red-haired McEntire is routinely regarded as the biggest female singer in country music. She began pursuing an acting career in the early '90s, appearing in a string of television movies and the occasional film, often executive producing the TV programs in which she appeared. In the 1995 television film, "Buffalo Girls," McEntire actually played Annie Oakley.
Cheryl Ladd toted a gun in the smash TV series, "Charlie's Angels," and on Sept. 6, her itchy trigger finger got satisfied, when she made her Broadway debut in Annie Get Your Gun at the Marquis Theatre.
Patrick Cassidy also joined the troupe as rival and romantic interest Frank Butler. Bernadette Peters and Tom Wopat created the roles in the new revival; their final show was Sept. 2. Wopat joined the national tour, with Marilu Henner, in October 2000.
The Broadway staging of the classic Irving Berlin musical was dark Sept. 3-5 to allow for the cast changeover. The new cast has a slightly different score to sing: the "Entr'acte" and "I'll Share It All With You" (for characters Winnie and Tommy) have been cut in an effort to streamline the narrative. This cut reflects the show as it is seen on the current tour.
Graciela Daniele staged Annie Get Your Gun and co choreographed it with Jeff Calhoun. The book by Herbert and Dorothy Fields was altered by Peter Stone to erase any offensive references to Native Americans.
Co-star Patrick Cassidy is the son of Shirley Jones and Jack Cassidy, and notably appeared in the world premiere of Stephen Sondheim's Assassins.
For Annie Get Your Gun ticket information, call (212) 307-4100.