Reba Does What Comes Natur'lly to Show Folk: Extends to June 22

News   Reba Does What Comes Natur'lly to Show Folk: Extends to June 22 Reba McEntire will sing about there being no business like show business a month longer than announced, to June 22, in the Broadway staging of Annie Get Your Gun, a spokesperson confirmed.

Reba McEntire will sing about there being no business like show business a month longer than announced, to June 22, in the Broadway staging of Annie Get Your Gun, a spokesperson confirmed.

The Daily News reported April 19 that said McEntire's star turn as Annie Oakley in the Irving Berlin classic would be recreated in a TV movie musical version. The CBS movie is in development, but a spokesperson for the stage show had no further information. It's not clear if the picture would be a document of the stage show or an "opened up" and expanded film similar to the recent ABC "South Pacific" telepic.

McEntire pumped new life into the box office of the Barry and Fran Weissler-produced Annie Get Your Gun revival at the Marquis Theatre. McEntire's run was previously announced through May 27.

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On Jan. 26, McEntire joined the Broadway cast of Annie Get Your Gun, making Annie Oakley will be what perhaps she should have been since the original 1946 staging: A country gal. Those who have heard the promotional sampler recording of McEntire, or seen her on TV singing "You Can't Get a Man With a Gun" or "I Got Lost in His Arms," have been knocked out by the country-music star's genuine Southern twang, her pipes, her natural ease with the material.

McEntire's casting had been an open secret for what seems like a year. She took on the sharpshooter role previously played in the new revival by Bernadette Peters, Susan Lucci and Cheryl Ladd, and got raves. Ethel Merman, of course, originated the role, and Betty Hutton played the film. This is McEntire's Broadway debut.

Brent Barrett (recently of Broadway's Chicago) is the new Frank Butler, opposite McEntire.

The Weisslers have reportedly been pursuing McEntire for some time. 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.

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.

Barrett's voice made audiences swoon in the revival of Chicago (playing Flynn) and the Encores! staging of On a Clear Day You Can See Forever.

Annie Get Your Gun also stars Conrad John Schuck (of "McMillan and Wife" and Broadway's Annie) as Buffalo Bill and Larry Storch (of "F Troop" fame) as Sitting Bull. Also featured ar Valerie Wright, Peter Marx, Gerry Vichi, Claci Miller and Eric Sciotto.

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Annie Get Your Gun was songwriter Irving Berlin's biggest hit, running 1,147 performances in its original run. The revival, first seen in fall 1998 in Washington DC before opening on Broadway in 1999, retains most of the 1946 score: "Doin' What Comes Natur'lly," "Lost in His Arms," "Anything You Can Do," "My Defenses Are Down," "Who Do You Love, I Hope," "There's No Business Like Show Business," "The Girl That I Marry" and more.

Tickets are $85 for all performances. The Marquis Theatre is at 1535 Broadway at 45th Street. For information, call (212) 307-4100.