"They Say It's Wonderful": Patti LuPone Stars in Annie Get Your Gun at the Ravinia Festival
By Andrew Gans
Staged concerts of Irving Berlin's Annie Get Your Gun — boasting Olivier and two-time Tony winner Patti LuPone as the sharp-shootin' Annie Oakley — play the Ravinia Festival in Illinois Aug. 13-15.
Lonny Price directs the concerts, which co-star Patrick Cassidy as Frank Butler and Tony winner George Hearn as Buffalo Bill Cody.
They are joined by Joseph Foronda as Chief Sitting Bull, Michael Weber as Charlie Davenport, Suzanne Sole as Dolly Tate and Michael Accardo as Wilson/Pawnee Bill.
Also part of the cast are Kamilah Lay as Jessie, Annie's sister; Elianna Kate Schnittman as Nellie, Annie's sister; Major Curda as Little Jake, Annie’s brother; Josh Johnston as Mac; and Justin Stein as Hank.
The female ensemble comprises Chelsea Barker, Amy Brophy, Cindy Chang, Kelly Anne Clark, Elana Ernst, Laura Freeman, Jacqui Graziano, Hallie Metcalf, Johanna McKenzie Miller, Rose O’Hara and Genevieve VenJohnson. The male ensemble will include Alexander Aguilar, John Michael Coppola, Adam Estes, Dan Ferretti, Wayne Hu, Josh Johnston, James Earl Jones, Justin Stein, Lee Alan Wilkins, George Wolff and Zach Zube. The trio features Wayne Hu, James Earl Jones and George Wolff.
The artists will be backed by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Paul Gemignani.
Annie Get Your Gun features music and lyrics by Irving Berlin and a book by Herbert and Dorothy Fields. Among the many classic Berlin songs in the score are "There's No Business Like Show Business," "Doin' What Comes Natur'lly," "You Can't Get a Man with a Gun," "Moonshine Lullaby," "They Say It's Wonderful," "I Got Lost in His Arms," "I Got the Sun in the Morning" and "Anything You Can Do."
LuPone's last musical theatre outing at Ravinia was Rose in Gypsy, a role she later repeated on Broadway to Tony-winnning effect. LuPone previously played the role of Oakley in a one-night-only benefit concert at Lincoln Center Theater's Vivian Beaumont. The Ravinia concerts celebrate the 150th birthday of Annie Oakley.
Cassidy eventually played Frank Butler in the most recent Broadway production of Annie Get Your Gun. His other Broadway credits include The Pirates of Penzance, Leader of the Pack, 42nd Street and Aida.
For more information on Ravinia, visit www.ravinia.org.
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