By Kenneth Jones
25 Jul 2000
Marilu Henner and Rex Smith will be doin' what comes naturally July 25 when the new national tour of Annie Get Your Gun kicks off at the Dallas Music Hall at Fair Park.
Henner, once of Chicago and TV's "Taxi," is Annie Oakley in the reconceived revival of the 1946 Irving Berlin classic, and onetime rock star, Broadway actor and soap opera hunk Smith is Frank Butler. Producer Barry and Fran Weissler's Broadway revival is still running with Bernadette Peters and Tom Wopat.
The national tour is a slightly revised version of the already revised Broadway revival: Tour direction and choreography credits go to Jeff Calhoun, and the "Entr'acte" and "I'll Share It All With You" have been cut.
Calhoun has co-choreography credit with director Graciela Daniele for the Broadway staging. The Dallas leg of the tour continues to Aug. 6 and then shoves off on tour.
The national tour cast includes Larry Storch as Sitting Bull, Susann Fletcher as Dolly Tate, Charles Goff as Pawnee Bill/Wilson, Joe Harty as Charlie Davenport, George McDaniel as Buffalo Bill, Claci Miller as Winnie Tate, Eric Sciotto as Tommy Keeler. The ensemble includes Paul Canaan, Celina Carvajal, Sean Haythe, Andrew Husman, Naomi Kakuk, Ron Kidd, Shane Kirkpatrick, Brian J. Marcum, Jennifer Marcum, Catherine Marsh, Sean Michael McKnight, Carolyn Ockert, Lisa Panagos, Debra M. Walton, Tony Yazbeck, Ainsley Binnicker, Mitchel Federen, Gracie Winchester, Joelle Letta, James R. Whittington.
As on Broadway, the designers are Tony Walton (set), William Ivey Long (costumes) and Beverly Emmons (lighting).
The classic, fictionalized musical version of the life of sharpshooter Annie Oakley was penned by songwriter Berlin and book writers Herbert and Dorothy Fields. The book was revised by Peter Stone (Titanic, Woman of the Year), who sought to excise stereotypes of the Native American characters.
Henner will sing Berlin's vintage score, including "I Got Lost in His Arms," "Doin' What Comes Natur'lly," "They Say It's Wonderful," "You Can't Get a Man With a Gun," "Anything You Can Do."
Tom Wopat (Frank Butler in New York) will leave the Broadway company Sept. 4, when Peters also exits, but he will join Henner on the road in late October, replacing Smith.
The Annie Get Your Gun tour includes stops in 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).