Producers Still Seeking Bernadette Peters for Annie Get Your Gun

News   Producers Still Seeking Bernadette Peters for Annie Get Your Gun Back in May 1997, Playbill On-Line reported that Irving Berlin's 1946 musical comedy, Annie Get Your Gun, would likely be coming back to Broadway in spring 1998, after a national tour. At the time, producers Fran and Barry Weissler were considering both film actress Geena Davis and stage actress Bernadette Peters for the title role.

Back in May 1997, Playbill On-Line reported that Irving Berlin's 1946 musical comedy, Annie Get Your Gun, would likely be coming back to Broadway in spring 1998, after a national tour. At the time, producers Fran and Barry Weissler were considering both film actress Geena Davis and stage actress Bernadette Peters for the title role.

Though New York media have been reporting the revival, with Peters, as a done deal, both production spokesman Pete Sanders and Peters' agent say no contracts have yet been signed for the project.

Reached Mar. 26, Peters' agent, Judy Katz, confirmed that Peters was still in serious discussions for the role, but there was still no firm commitment. "I know they're in negotiations, and if they do bring Gun to Broadway it'll be with Bernadette. What we've been saying all along is that if the elements work, it'll happen." An article by syndicated columnist Liz Smith earlier in the day implied that the project was finally moving forward.

Production spokesman Peter Sanders said "everyone's talking and Bernadette is who they're talking to," but "nothing definite is set yet." He said the production is hoping to start rehearsals this July and open in the 1998-99 season.

Sanders said a Mar. 30 New York Post story that talk show host Rosie O'Donnell is angling to be Peters' replacement is "totally false." O'Donnell made her Broadway debut in the Weisslers' Grease! revival.

Early on, Chicago's James Naughton had been rumored for the role of Frank, but Sanders said no other casting has been finalized. After Patti LuPone did a concert version of the show recently, rumors flew that she also was being considered, but Sanders confirmed Mar. 30 that Peters remains the target of the Weisslers negotiations.

Annie Gets Your Gun tells of rootin'-tootin'-shootin' Annie Oakley, who nevertheless falls for Frank, the kind of man who wants the girl that he marries to be "as soft and as pink as a nursery" -- not quite a perfect match for a gal used to "doin' what comes natur'lly." The title role was originated on Broadway in 1946 by Ethel Merman.

The classic Irving Berlin score includes "The Girl That I Marry," "I Got Lost in His Arms," "Anything You Can Do," and the Broadway anthem, "No Business Like Show Business." It was Berlin's longest-running show.

Peters' career has included starring roles in Sunday in the Park with George, Mack and Mabel, The Goodbye Girl Dames at Sea, Song and Dance and Into The Woods, among others.

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