Gambatese and Earley Locked and Loaded for Goodspeed's Annie Get Your Gun, Starting April 16

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16 Apr 2010

<i>Annie Get Your Gun</i> star Jenn Gambatese
Annie Get Your Gun star Jenn Gambatese
Photo by Diane Sobolewski
It's hard to believe, but Goodspeed Musicals — the 47-season-old Tony Award-winning theatre devoted to the heritage of American musicals — has never produced the major American hit Annie Get Your Gun. Until now. Previews for the Irving Berlin show begin April 16 in East Haddam, CT.

Broadway's Jenn Gambatese and Kevin Earley play Annie Oakley and Frank Butler, respectively, in the fictionalized musical comedy about real-life sharpshooter Oakley. Opening night at Goodspeed Opera House is May 12. Performances play to June 27.

Composer-lyricist Berlin in no stranger to Goodspeed, of course. Executive producer Michael P. Price told Playbill.com, "The magic and creative ingenuity of Irving Berlin's music and lyrics resonates with our audiences in a very special way." The not-for-profit company most recently produced Berlin's Call Me Madam in 2004. Prior to that, Goodspeed Musicals did Berlin's Miss Liberty in 1983 and Louisiana Purchase in 1975.

Gambatese starred in Broadway's Tarzan and All Shook Up. Earley appeared in Broadway's A Tale of Two Cities, Thoroughly Modern Millie and Les Misérables.

Goodspeed's revival of Annie Get Your Gun will use the 1999 Peter Stone revision of the 1946 script. This version (which starred Bernadette Peters, who won a Tony Award for playing Annie in 1999) solves some of the racial insensitivities concerning Native Americans, and switches out some musical numbers. The original book is by Herbert and Dorothy Fields. The score includes "There's No Business Like Show Business," "Anything You Can Do," "I Got the Sun in the Morning" and "You Can't Get a Man With a Gun."



Rob Ruggiero (Broadway's Looped, Off-Broadway's Make Me a Song) directs.

Buffalo Bill Cody is played by David McDonald (Broadway's Bye, Bye, Birdie; Mamma Mia!; Side Show; and Les Misérables); Dolly Tate is played by Rebecca Watson (Goodspeed's 1776 and Me & My Girl); Tommy Keeler is played by Andrew Cao; Chelsea Morgan Stock (Broadway's The Little Mermaid) plays Winnie Tate; James Beaman plays Charlie Davenport; Michael Nichols (Broadway's November and One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest) plays Chief Sitting Bull.

The company also includes three Connecticut natives: Joy Rachel Del Valle of Farmington plays Jessie, Marissa Smoker of Branford plays Nellie and Griffin Birney, also of Branford, plays Little Jake.

The ensemble includes Brandon Andrus, Sean Coughlin, Orville Mendoza, Pilar Millhollen, Bill Nabel, Con O'Shea-Creal, Natalie Ryder, Goodspeed favorite Dorothy Stanley (42nd Street, High Button Shoes, Singin' in the Rain and George M!), Molly Tynes, Amos Wolff and Aaron Young. The swings are Noah Aberlin, Hartleigh Buwick and Jake Poulios.

The creative team includes choreographer Noah Racey, scenic designer Michael Schweikardt, costume designer Alejo Vietti, lighting designer John Lasiter, music director Michael O'Flaherty, assistant music director William J. Thomas and orchestrator Dan DeLange.

For tickets and information, call (860) 873-8668 or visit www.goodspeed.org.