Annie Get Your Gun

Annie Get Your Gun features music and lyrics by Irving Berlin with a book by siblings Dorothy and Herbert Fields. Based on the real life of Annie Oakley, a famous sharpshooter who starred in Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show, Annie Get Your Gun combines true and fictional events in this renowned musical. Following her tumultuous romance with fellow performer Frank Bulter and the events leading up to her joining Buffalo Bill’s show, this musical has enjoyed numerous revivals around the world. Songs from the score are instantly recognisable, with hits such as “There’s No Business Like Show Business”, “Anything You Can Do” and “You Can’t Get a Man with a Gun” making up the majority of musical theatre repertoire. Stars such as Ethel MermanBernadette Peters and Ruthie Henshall have starred productions as the title role.


Irving Berlin

Irving Berlin

Dorothy and Herbert Fields (revisions by Peter Stone)

The real life of Annie Oakley (1860-1926)

Dorothy Fields, Herbert Fields and Sidney Sheldon

Rodgers & Hammerstein

Various productions: Joshua Logan, Gower Champion, David Gilmore, Richard Jones, Lonny Price

Various productions: Helen Tamiris, Jeff Calhoun, Danny Daniels


Original Broadway Production

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

Cast: Ethel Merman (Annie Oakley), Ray Middleton (Frank Butler), Lea Penman (Dolly Tate), Art Bernett (Foster Wilson), Harry Bellaver (Chief Sitting Bull), Kenneth Bowers (Tommy Keeler), Marty May (Charlie Davenport), William O’Neal (Buffalo Bill), Betty Anne Nyman (Winnie Tate)

Annie Get Your Gun - Original London

Original London Production

London Coliseum - Opened 7 Jun 1947, closed 7 Jun 1950, 1304 performances

Cast: Dolores Gray (Annie Oakley), Bill Johnson (Frank Butler), Barbara Babington (Dolly Tate), John Garside (Chief Sitting Bull), Irving Davies (Tommy Keeler), Hal Bryan (Charlie Davenport), Ellis Irving (Buffalo Bill), Wendy Toye (Winnie Tate)


Broadway Revival (1966)

Lincoln Center, Broadway Theatre - Opened 31 May 1966, closed 9 Jul 1966

Cast: Ethel Merman (Annie Oakley), Bruce Yarnell (Frank Butler), Benay Venuta (Dolly Tate), Ronn Carroll (Foster Wilson), Jerry Orbach (Charlie Davenport), Rufus Smith (Buffalo Bill)


London Revival (1986)

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

Cast: Suzi Quatro (Annie Oakley), Eric Flynn (Frank Butler), Maureen Scott (Dolly Tate), Berwick Kaler (Chief Sitting Bull, Foster Wilson), Matt Zimmerman (Charlie Davenport), Edmund Hockridge (Buffalo Bill)

Annie Get Your Gun - 2nd London Revival

London Revival (1992)

Prince of Wales Theatre - Opened 25 Nov 1992, closed 12 Dec 1992

Cast: Kim Criswell (Annie Oakley), John Diedrich (Frank Butler), Norman Rossington, Brian Glover, Meg Johnson, Leon Greene


Broadway Revival (1999)

Marquis Theatre - Opened 4 Mar 1999, closed 1 Sep 2001, 1045 performances

Cast: Bernadette Peters (Annie Oakley), Tom Wopat (Frank Butler), Valerie Wright (Dolly Tate), Gregory Zaragoza (Chief Sitting Bull), Ronn Carroll (Foster Wilson), Peter Marx (Charlie Davenport), Ron Holgate (Buffalo Bill), Andrew Palmero (Tommy Keeler), Nicole Ruth Snelson (Winnie Tate) Replacements: Susan Lucci, Cheryl Ladd, Reba McEntire, Crystal Bernard (Annie), Patrick Cassidy, Brent Barrett (Frank)

Annie Get Your Gun Young Vic 2009

London Revival (2009)

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

Cast: Jane Horrocks (Annie Oakley), Julian Ovenden (Frank Butler), Florence Andrews, Niall Ashdown, Buffy Davis, Alice Fearn, Paul Iveson, Eric MacLennan, John Marquez, Tanya Michael-Davis, Anoushka Mutanda-Dougherty, Amy Papa, Davina Perera, David Ricardo-Pearce, Jessica Richardson, Liza Sadovy, Michael Taibi, Matt Turner, Chucky Venn, Adam Venus

What was your favourite production? Add your thoughts in the comments box


Twitter Synopsis:

Famous sharpshooter Annie Oakley falls for showbiz man Frank Butler, and the pair embark on a journey that causes them to fall deeply in love.

Add your own Twitter style synopsis (140 characters only!) in the comments box

Colonel Buffalo Bill brings his famous Wild West show to Cincinnati, wherein the leading man Frank Butler challenges anyone in town to a duel. 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 out shoot him. Sharpshooter 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. 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. 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. 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. 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.

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. When Annie shows Frank her medals, he becomes furiously jealous once again. They agree to a final duel to settle the score. 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.


Act I

  • “Overture” – Orchestra
  • “Colonel Buffalo Bill” – Charlie Daveport, Dolly Tate and Company
  • “I’m A Bad, Bad Man” – Frank Butler
  • “Doin’ What Comes Natur’lly” – Annie Oakley and Siblings
  • “The Girl That I Marry” – Frank and Annie
  • “You Can’t Get A Man With A Gun” – Annie
  • “There’s No Business Like Show Business” – Frank, Buffalo Bill, Charlie, Dolly, Annie and Company
  • “They Say It’s Wonderful” – Annie and Frank
  • “Moonshine Lullaby” – Annie and Siblings
  • “I’ll Share It All With You” – Winnie Tate and Tommy Keeler
  • “Ballyhoo” – Company
  • “There’s No Business Like Show Business (Reprise)” – Annie
  • “My Defenses Are Down” – Frank and Company
  • “Wild Horse Ceremonial Dance” – Company
  • “I’m an Indian, Too” – Annie and Company
  • “Adoption Dance” – Company

Act II

  • “Entr’acte” – Orchestra
  • “I Got Lost In His Arms” – Annie
  • “Who Do You Love, I Hope?” – Winnie and Tommy
  • “I Got The Sun In The Morning” – Annie and Company
  • “They Say It’s Wonderful (Reprise)” – Annie and Frank
  • “The Girl That I Marry (Reprise)” – Frank
  • “Anything You Can Do” – Annie and Frank
  • “There’s No Business Like Show Business (Reprise)” – Company

Please note: Revised editions of the musical may not contain some songs mentioned above and may contain new songs.


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

1999 Drama Desk Awards: Outstanding Actress in a Musical (Bernadette Peters)

1999 Grammy Awards: Best Musical Show Album

2001 Drama Desk Awards: Special Award (Reba McEntire)


UK: R & H Theatricals

USA: R & H Theatricals


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