Two Broadway Annies Launch Tours This SummerDate: 22 June 2005
Irving Berlin’s Broadway classic, Annie Get Your Gun, launches a major UK-wide tour this summer, starting at Bromley’s Churchill on 26 August 2005 and continuing to 14 further venues until 10 December.
The original 1946 production of Berlin’s musical comedy, Annie Get Your Gun, starred Ethel Merman as hillbilly Annie Oakley, who joins Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show and falls in love with a fellow shooting ace. The show was made into a 1950 film with Betty Hutton and Howard Keel in the leading roles.
Rebecca Thornhill will play Annie in the new UK touring production, which is based on the 1999 Broadway revival that starred Bernadette Peters and was nominated for three Tony Awards, winning two for Best Musical Revival and Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Musical. That production played 1,045 performances in New York.
Thornhill - whose West End credits include Chicago, The Witches of Eastwick, and Singin’ in the Rain at the National Theatre in 2001 (for which she was nominated for an Olivier) - is joined by Steven Houghton as love interest Frank Butler. Houghton is best known for his role at Gregg Blake in LWT’s London’s Burning. His theatre credits include Chris in the most recent UK tour of Miss Saigon and a lead role in the Olivier-nominated production of Spend Spend Spend in the West End.
Annie Get Your Gun was the greatest box office triumph of Berlin’s Broadway career, and features some of his best-loved songs including “There’s No Business Like Show Business”, “Anything You Can Do”, “You Can’t Get a Man with a Gun” and “Doing What Comes Naturally”.
The touring production is directed by Timothy Sheader and produced by Mark Goucher Limited, Adam Kenwright Productions and Wimbledon Theatre Productions. Following Bromley, it visits Glasgow, Sunderland, Bradford, Southampton, Milton Keynes, Woking, Stoke on Trent, Liverpool, Wimbledon, Nottingham, Edinburgh and Plymouth, with further dates to be confirmed.
Not to be confused with Berlin’s gun-toting musical, just plain Annie - the 1977 Broadway musical about the flame-haired 11-year-old orphan which was made into a 1982 film by John Huston - embarks on its latest touring schedule this month. It opens on 29 June 2005 in Dublin before crossing the Irish Sea to visit Bournemouth, Bristol, Southend, Darlington, Windsor, Dartford, Bradford, Swansea, Cheltenham, Southampton, Wolverhampton, Truro, Lincoln, Peterborough and Leicester, where it concludes on 31 December 2005.
Ruth Madoc (from TV’s Mine All Mine, Hi-de-hi and Little Britain) stars as the dastardly orphanage mistress Miss Hannigan. She’s joined by 1960s pop star Mark Wynter (Cats, Phantom of the Opera, Sweet Charity) as Oliver “Daddy” Warbucks and Louise English (TV’s The Benny Hill Show) as Mr Warbucks’ secretary Grace Farrell.
Annie has a book by Thomas Meehan, with music by Charles Strouse and lyrics by Martin Charnin. The score includes “It’s a Hard Knock Life”, “Easy Street”, “You’re Never Fully Dressed without a Smile” and “Tomorrow”. The touring production is directed by Chris Colby, designed by Alan Miller Bunford and produced by Chris Moreno.
- by Caroline Ansdell