Annie Get Your Gun  features music and lyrics by Irving Berlin with a book by Dorothy and Herbie Fields. it is based on the life of Annie Oakley, a shooter who starred in Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show although many of the events are heavily fictionalised.  The musical covers her romance with Frank Bulter and the events leading up to her joining the show. There have been numerous productions of the show around the world, with many of them enjoying long runs. Songs from the score have become instantly recognisable, such as ‘There’s No Business Like Show Business’, ‘Anything You Can Do’ and ‘You Can’t Get a Man with a Gun’. Bernadette Peters starred in a successful Broadway revival that went on to a nationwide US tour. The role is perhaps most associated with Ethel Merman who played the original Annie Oakley.

Annie Get Your Gun 1966 Playbill

Irving Berlin

Irving Berlin

Herbert and Dorothy Fields

the life of Annie Oakley

Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II

Joshua Logan

Helen Tamiris

Productions
Annie Get Your Gun - Original Broadway

Original Broadway Production

Imperial Theatre - Opened 16 May 1946, closed 12 Feb 1949, 1147 performances

Cast: Ethel Merman, Ray Middleton, Marty May, Kenny Bowers, Lea Penamn, Betty Anne Nyman, William O’Neal, Lubov Roudenko, Daniel Nagrin, Harry Belaver, Ellen Hanley

Annie Get Your Gun - Original London

Original London Production

London Coliseum - Opened 7 Jun 1947, closed 1 Jan 1970, 1304 performances

Annie Get Your Gun - 1st Broadway Revival

First Broadway Revival

Broadway Theatre - Opened 31 May 1966, closed 26 Nov 1966

Annie Get Your Gun 1st London Revival

First London Revival

Aldywch Theatre - Opened 29 Jul 1986, closed 4 Oct 1986

Annie Get Your Gun - 2nd London Revival

Second London Revival

Prince of Wales Theatre - Opened 1 Jan 1992, closed 1 Jan 1970

Annie Get Your Gun 2nd Broadway Revival

Second Broadway Revival

Marquis Theatre - Opened 4 Mar 1999, closed 1 Sep 2000

Annie Get Your Gun Young Vic 2009

Third London Revival

Young Vic Theatre - Opened 16 Oct 2009, closed 9 Jan 2010

Cast: Jane Horrocks (Annie), Julian Ovenden (Frank), Directed by Richard Jones. 



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Synopsis

“Colonel Buffalo Bill” brings his famous Wild West show to Cincinnati, where the star leading man Frank Butler challenges anyone in town to a duel (“I’m a Bad, Bad Man”). Foster Wilson, the owner of the hotel where the performers are staying is not pleased with their antics and bets Frank he can find someone who can outshoot him. Tomboy Annie Oakley arrives in town, and impressed by her shooting, Foster persuades her to face Frank in the shoot-off.

Annie runs into Frank, not knowing he will be her opponent, and immediately falls for him. She asks if he feels the same way, but he declares he wants a woman who is soft and fragile (“The Girl That I Marry”). They meet again at the shoot-off, and Frank is furious when Annie wins. Buffalo Bill manages to convince Annie to join the show permanently by explaining “There’s No Business Like Show Business” and she agrees.

On the road, Frank begins to fall in love with Annie (“They Say It’s Wonderful”).  The show stops in Saint Paul, Minnesota while the rival company Pawnee Bill’s Far East Show is stopped in nearby Minneapolis. Buffalo Bill asks Annie to perform a special trick to draw people to their show, and she agrees, as it will surprise Frank. Meanwhile, Frank plans to propose to Annie after that night’s show (“My Defenses Are Down”). Annie’s trick goes down a storm, and green with envy, Frank decides to join the rival Pawnee Bill’s show instead and leaves Annie behind.

Buffalo Bill takes the show across Europe with Annie as the star, but both his company and Pawnee Bill’s shows go bankrupt. The two impresarios agree to meet to discuss a merger, with each thinking the other has money to pay for both companies. Annie still misses Frank (“I Got Lost in His Arms”). When it is revealed that neither company has any money, Annie decides to sell her many shooting medals which have a combined worth of one hundred thousand dollars, declaring she only needs the simple things in life (“I Got the Sun in the Mornin’”).

Frank and Annie reunite and immediately fall back in love. They decide to finally get married, but they both want very different things for the wedding (“An Old-Fashioned Wedding”). When Annie shows Frank her medals, he becomes furiously jealous once again. They agree to a final duel to settle the score (“Anything You Can Do”). Annie and Frank both deliberately miss their shots so the shoot-off ends in a tie, and they run off to be married as both shows carry on together.

Songs

ACT I

  • Overture
  • Opening Scene I: I’m A Bad, Bad Man
  • Colonel Buffalo Bill
  • I’m A Bad, Bad Man/I’m A Bad, Bad Man Dance
  • Doin’ What Comes Natur’lly
  • The Girl That I Marry
  • You Can’t Get A Man With A Gun
  • You Can’t Get A Man With A Gun (Encore)
  • Entrance of Buffalo Bill
  • Gun Fantasy
  • Melos: You Can’t Get A Man With A Gun
  • There’s No Business Like Show Business
  • Train Scene: There’s No Business Like Show Business
  • They Say It’s Wonderful
  • Moonshine Lullaby
  • Opening Scene III: Colonel Buffalo Bill
  • I’ll Share It All With You
  • Opening Scene IV: There’s No Business Like Show Business
  • Circus Dance
  • There’s No Business Like Show Business (Reprise)
  • My Defenses Are Down
  • Opening Scene V: Colonel Buffalo Bill
  • Opening Scene VI: Drum Dance
  • Ceremonial Chant
  • I’m An Indian Too
  • I’m An Indian Too Dance
  • Finale Act I

ACT II

  • Entr’acte
  • Opening Scene VII: Colonel Buffalo Bill
  • I Got Lost In His Arms
  • Change of Scene: I Got Lost In His Arms
  • Ball-Room Scene: The Girl That I Marry
  • An Old Fashioned Wedding
  • Who Do You Love, I Hope?
  • Dance: I’ll Share It All With You
  • I Got The Sun In The Morning
  • Exit Music: I Got The Sun In The Morning
  • They Say It’s Wonderful (Reprise)
  • The Girl That I Marry (Reprise)
  • Opening Scene IX: I Got The Sun In The Morning
  • You Can’t Get A Man With A Gun (Instrumental Reprise)
  • Anything You Can Do
  • You Can’t Get A Man With A Gun (Instrumental Reprise)
  • There’s No Business Like Show Business (Reprise)
  • They Say It’s Wonderful (Reprise)
Awards

1966 Tony Awards: Nominated for Best Choreography and Best Direction.

1999 Tony Awards: Best Revival of a Musical, Best Performance by a Leading Actress (Peters)

Licensing

UK: Josef Weinberger

USA: R & H Theatricals