Annie Get Your Gun, And Your Guy, and Get You to Broadway

listing_megan_hilty_annie_gunAnnie Get Your Gun, And Your Guy, and Get You to Broadway

By Ross


In a surprise moment of musical theatre good luck, I was able to attend the New York City Center’s Annual Gala performance of Irving Berlin’s Annie Get Your Gun. A friend of a good friend had a great ticket that the owner couldn’t use. His bad luck was my good fortune. I had wanted to see this musical for years, as I had never seen this show before, but I couldn’t seem to get any of my regular musical theatre junkies to go with 220px-AnniePlaybillme. I sadly had missed out on seeing the 1999 Broadway revival starring the lovely and talented Bernadette Peters and the handsome and talented Tom Wopat (big swoon), plus I had even missed out on seeing her highly praised replacement, Reba McEntire, who, I am told, was magnificent in the part (not so bothered I missed Susan Lucci or Cheryl Ladd…well sorta).


So here was my lucky chance, and to make this moment even better, I was going to see Megan Hilty (from NBC’s Smash) sing the title role, well, I just felt so gosh darn lucky, (sounds better if you read that with the same wonderful country twang that Hilty brought to her Annie photo-flash-megan-hilty--andy-karl-prepare-to-bring-annie-get-your-gun-to-new-york-city-center_1Oakley).  To top it all off, Andy Karl (Rocky on Broadway – double swoon) was taking on the role of Frank Butler, the handsome studly womanizing star of the traveling Wild West show, and self described “Bad, Bad Man”.  I was in musical Encore! heaven.


These two are a Broadway dream duo.  They were just magnificent in their respective parts.  Both sang powerfully and beautifully, such classic songs such as “You Can’t Get a Man with a Gun”, “The Girl That I Marry”, “An Old Fashioned Wedding”, and the often-reprised song of songs, “There’s No Business Like Show Business”.  (Side note, maybe one too many reprises for my liking….but I won’t quibble.) Megan Hilty is truly a Broadway star, and I can’t wait to see her take on any of the other big 220px-Miss-Annie-Oakley-peerless-wing-shotvoiced powerhouse roles that she has in store for her on the Great White Way.  Andy Karl’s velvety voice reminded me of an old time Broadway crooner; it was so delicious and wonderful to listen to.  Both are perfectly cast and having a ton of fun.  When they sang “Anything You Can Do, I Can Do Better” we all felt like we were witnessing something wonderful and very special. It made me wish a wee bit that this was a more fully realized Encores! production, like the others I had seen.  These two deserve a chance to sing and act their hearts out on a more realized set and without their scripts/songbooks in hand.  (Although they both got a few good warm laughs from the loving audience as they played with this setup.)


As staged in this production, directed by John Rando, this was more like a playful concert of a somewhat silly old-fashioned classic musical. And as with all Encores productions, it was a special gift to hear these songs played by the wonderful full sound of the Encores! Orchestra (musical director: Rob Berman). I felt very fortunate that I was in attendance watching these pros “Doin’ What Comes Natur’lly”.  Thank you City Center Encores! and a big Yee Haw to you all.



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