According to a report in MI's Kalamazoo Gazette (Aug. 9), Tom Wopat will appear with Bernadette Peters in the long awaited, Broadway-bound revival of Annie Get Your Gun. The Gazette quotes Shay Moore, publicist at MI's Barn Theatre, where Wopat is currently finishing a run in South Pacific.
Though Wopat's publicist, Sandy Brokaw, says no contracts have yet been signed (as of Aug. 18), making any announcement premature, he reconfirmed his Aug. 11 statement that Wopat has been offered and accepted the role. The credit apparently appears in Wopat's stagebill bio for the Barn's South Pacific.
Barn publicist Moore told Playbill On-Line (Aug. 11), "[Wopat] got the news on Thursday [Aug. 6], and we were all cheering for him." Moore also told the Kalamazoo Gazette rehearsals begin in October for the show, which would mark Wopat's third time on Broadway (City of Angels, Guys and Dolls), but "the very first time he's originated a role... This is something he's been looking forward to for some time now."
Annie Get Your Gun's New York press representative, Pete Sanders, told Playbill On-Line (Aug. 10), "We don't have any information on Annie Get Your Gun at this time."
Peters' agent, Judy Katz, told Playbill On-Line (Aug. 10) the actress hasn't yet officially signed a contract for the role, though all indications are she's getting set to do it. Katz said the casting of Peters' co-stars is underway, but she hadn't heard anything about Wopat or any other names for roles. "There's certainly nothing set yet," Katz said. 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.
"Theatrical Index" published a "Highlights" item, June 1, noting that Peters would star in the Irving Berlin and Herbert & Dorothy Fields musical, to be directed and choreographed by Ragtime's Graciela Daniele. Designers listed include Tony Walton (sets), William Ivey Long (costumes) and Jules Fisher (lighting).
Reached months ago, 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.
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.