Cheryl Ladd toted a gun in the smash TV series, "Charlie's Angels," and on Sept. 6, her itchy trigger finger gets satisfied, when she makes her Broadway debut in Annie Get Your Gun at the Marquis Theatre.
Ladd begins singing, dancing and shooting at the matinee, playing Annie Oakley in the fictionalized musical account of the Wild West Show star's life. Patrick Cassidy also joins 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 will join the national tour, with Marilu Henner, in October.
The Broadway staging of the classic Irving Berlin musical was dark Sept. 3-5 to allow for the cast changeover. The new cast will also have 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.
Peters, who won a Tony Award for the title role of Annie Oakley in the classic Irving Berlin musical, and Wopat, who may be best known for TV's "The Dukes of Hazzard," began rehearsals for the Fran and Barry Weissler produced show in November 1998. Peters won a Tony for her performance of the bumpkin with an eagle eye and a trigger finger -- to say nothing of a belter's voice. Wopat was nommed for a Best Actor (Musical) Tony.
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. *
The casting of Ladd was announced Aug. 10. She'll stay with the show through Jan. 28, 2001. The open secret on Broadway is that Reba McEntire may be stepping into the role next, but there has been no official announcement.
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.
Cheryl Ladd Russell (her current married name) was born Cheryl Jean Stoppelmoor in Huron, SD. Her first singing break came when she sang backup for the cartoon, "Josie and the Pussycats." She had settled in Los Angeles after a band she sang for broke up there.
Commercials and the film "Jamaica Reef" followed and she married David Ladd in 1973. They had a daughter, Jordan, in 1975, and by 1977 Ladd was one of the sexy private detectives dispatched on improbable assignments by a mysterious millionaire in the Aaron Spelling TV series "Charlie's Angels." She played Kris Munroe in the series that ended in 1981.
Ladd did release a couple of albums, "Cheryl Ladd" (1978) and "Dance Forever" (1979), but until now has not played Broadway.
She is now married to Brian Russell, who created a series of children's books with her. Ladd has appeared in more than 50 films, series or TV movies, including "Every Mother's Worst Fear" (co-starring with her daughter), "A Dog in Flanders,""Grace Kelly," "Perfect Little Angels," "Jesse" and "Permanent Midnight."
Tickets are $35-$80. For information, call (212) 307-4100.