Hometown Girl Andrea McArdle Will Star in Philly's Annie Get Your Gun at Prince

News   Hometown Girl Andrea McArdle Will Star in Philly's Annie Get Your Gun at Prince
Prince Music Theater's new production of Irving Berlin's Annie Get Your Gun, beginning Dec. 2 in Philadelphia, will star a big-voiced "Annie" of the past: Andrea McArdle.
Andrea McArdle
Andrea McArdle Photo by Aubrey Reuben

The actress became famous as Little Orphan Annie in Annie, and has since played choice roles in State Fair, Les Miserables, Gypsy, Starlight Express and Cabaret. The Tony Award nominee now assumes a role created by Ethel Merman in 1946.

At the Prince, associate artistic director Richard M. Parison will stage the 1966 version of the Berlin show (with book by Herbert and Dorothy Fields) about sharpshooter Annie Oakley, and her competition/romance with showman Frank Butler (to be played by Philly favorite Jeffrey Coon).

Parison told Playbill.com that McArdle, who was raised in Philly, was a perfect match for Annie Get Your Gun — a clarion-voiced singer who can act the sensitivity, innocence, the fire and the optimism of one of the most famous musical theatre roles.

The score will include "An Old Fashioned Wedding," added for the 1966 revival. ("Who Do You Love, I Hope" and "I'll Share It All With You" were cut in 1966.) The property was revived for a third time on Broadway in 1999, and boasted a revised book by Peter Stone and some changes to the score.

The musical numbers include such standards as "There's No Business Like Show Business," "I Got the Sun in the Morning," "I Got Lost in His Arms," "The Girl That I Marry," "Doin' What Comes Natur'lly," "They Say It's Wonderful," and more. The Prince production will be choreographed by Mercedes Ellington, music directed by Eric Barnes, with design by Todd Ivins (scenic), Maggie Baker Atkins (costume), Shelley Hicklin (lighting) and Otts Munderloh (sound).

Opening is Dec. 9. Performances continue to Dec. 31.

The cast will include John Scherer as Charlie Davenport, Mary Martello as Dolly Tate, Christopher Coucill as Col. Buffalo Bill, Cynthia Raff as Mrs. Potter-Porter, Arthur Ryan as Sitting Bull, Dan Schiff as Foster Wilson/Pawnee Bill, Caitlin Reilly as Minnie Oakley, Josie Andrews and Kristina Biddle as Jessie Oakley, Erica Mabry and Jamieson O'Brien as Nellie Oakley, Wesley Ian Cappiello and Conor O'Brien as Little Jake Oakley, and Conrad Ricamora, Kevin Cammarota, Benjamin Scott Kramer, Michael Philip O'Brien, Michael Newman, Alexis Sims, Anne Connors, Jodi Kuhlman, Elyse Taylor and Andrea Norah Wright.

Director Parison said he has been consulting with Native Nation representatives to make sure Native American characters and plot points are addressed with authenticity and sensitivity.

For more information, visit www.princemusictheater.org.

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