VINTAGE PLAYBILL: Annie Get Your Gun, 1946

By Brynn Cox
May 16, 2013

On this date 67 years ago, Irving Berlin's Annie Get Your Gun premiered at the Imperial Theatre.



The Annie Oakley musical first proposed by bookwriters Dorothy Fields and Herbert Fields was to have music by Jerome Kern. But following Kern's death in 1945, producers Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II offered the project to Irving Berlin.

Though the production received tepid reviews from critics (Lewis Nichols of the New York Times deemed it "a good professional Broadway musical" and "an agreeable night on the town"), the musical proved a commercial hit. Ethel Merman played Annie Oakley to great acclaim throughout the three-year run, and she later reprised the role in a 1966 revival.

Read a vintage Playbill in the Vault.