Annie Get Your Gun is one of those musicals that’s overloaded with gems. From “There’s No Business Like Showbusiness,” to “I Got Lost In His Arms” and back to “Anything You Can Do (I Can Do Better),” it’s golden age Broadway through-and-through. I’m confident LuPone will knock those big showstoppers out of the (Highland) park. Long live Irving Berlin, and God bless Ethel Merman (the original Annie Oakley when the show premiered on Broadway in 1946).
Brian Stokes Mitchell was set to be LuPone’s Frank Butler at Ravinia, but for “scheduling reasons” we get Patrick Cassidy, who played the role for a spell in the 1999 Broadway revival opposite Cheryl Ladd (Bernadette Peters had moved on from her Tony-winning performance by that point). Lonnie Price will direct the semi-staged concert, which begins performances tomorrow night and runs through Sunday. I’m going Sunday.
Price actually directed LuPone in a one-night only concert of AGYG (yay acronyms!) at the Vivian Beaumont theatre in 1998 opposite Peter Gallagher. Rosie O’Donnell featured LuPone and Gallagher on her daytime talk show following the acclaimed concert, and it’s an often-played clip at gay bars during showtune video evenings: