Tom Wopat will join the Annie Get Your Gun tour in the fall, replacing Rex Smith at that point. Smith will star as Frank Butler opposite Marilu Henner in the road company, beginning July 25 in Dallas. Sources have Wopat joining the tour in Boston on Oct. 31. The Paramount Theatre of Seattle, which will host Annie Get Your Gun Nov. 28-Dec. 10, announced that Wopat and Henner will headline the production.
As to who will replace Wopat on Broadway, the New York Post reported (June 21) that "Baywatch" star David Hasselhoff is in talks to join the musical.
Wopat received a Tony nomination for his performance as Frank Butler and has been with the hit musical since the beginning.
Smith, late of Broadway's The Scarlet Pimpernel, is to play Frank opposite Henner's Annie Oakley in the national tour of Irving Berlin's Annie Get Your Gun, a spokesman 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 take 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).