Rex Smith, late of Broadway's The Scarlet Pimpernel, will play Frank Butler opposite previously- mentioned Marilu Henner's Annie Oakley in the national tour of Irving Berlin's Annie Get Your Gun, a spokesman at the Pete Sanders Group has confirmed.
Henner, the red-headed star of TV's "Taxi," who appeared in Barry and Fran Weissler's Chicago revival, will sing Berlin's vintage score (including "I Got Lost in His Arms," "Doin' What Comes Natur'lly" and "You Can't Get a Man With a Gun") on the road with Smith (the one-time rock star, Broadway star and soap opera star) beginning July 25 in Dallas, TX. Henner has begun rehearsals, and Smith joins her in the studio June 19.
The Graciela Daniele staging of Annie Get Your Gun has been an audience favorite since March 1999 at Broadway's Marquis Theatre, with Bernadette Peters as Annie and Tom Wopat as Butler. That duet is scheduled to leave the Marquis Sept. 4, a couple months shy of the two-year anniversary of the company's formation in rehearsal Nov. 2, 1998 (for a Washington DC tryout).
Replacements for Peters and Wopat have yet to be named, but it has been an open secret that the Weisslers are courting country diva Reba McEntire for Broadway (she was seen with Fran Weissler at an Annie Get Your Gun performance). Speculation is that McEntire might not step into the role until January. A spokesman had no word on the possible casting of McEntire.
The Annie Get Your Gun tour includes stops in Dallas (July 25-Aug. 6), New Haven (Aug. 9-20), Pittsburgh (Aug. 22-27), Minneapolis (Sept. 5-10), Detroit (Sept. 12-Oct. 1), Orlando, FL. (Oct. 3 8), Tampa, FL (Oct. 10-15), Chicago (Oct. 17-29), Boston (Oct. 31-Nov. 5), Nashville (Nov. 7-12), Sacramento (Nov. 15-19), Costa Mesa, CA (Nov. 21-26), Seattle (Nov. 28-Dec. 10), San Diego (Dec. 12-17), Houston (Dec. 19-24).