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Généralités: Histoire, thèmes et particularités


Quand dans le Wild West américain, un show s'arrête dans sa ville, Annie Oakley participe à un concours de tir, le gagne et on lui demande de rejoindre la troupe du spectacle. Elle tombe amoureuse de la star du spectacle, Frank Butler, et consent à le rejoindre, bien qu'elle n'ait aucune idée idée de ce que peut être le show business, ce dont l'informe un des tubes du musical "There's No Business Like Show Business".
Durant le musical, Frank, bien qu'insistant sur le fait que la fille qu'il recherhce serait parée de satin… et sentirait l'eau de Cologne, ("The Girl That I Marry), finit par s'amouracher du garçon manqué qu'est Annie.
Malheureusement, son ego sera vite blessé et il deviendra jaloux lorsque Annie sera devenue une star et il la quittera.
Après plusieurs complications, qui gardent Annie et Frank qéparés, ils se retrouvent ensemble pour un dernier duel au tir lors du final du musical "Anything You Can Do". Annie laisse délibérément Frank gagner pour satisfaire son ego, et ils partent ensemble.

Synopsis complet


Historique du musical

Génèse du musical

The musical that celebrates "doin’ what comes natur’lly" began with an idea that was an absolute natural: Ethel Merman as Annie Oakley. Bulls eye.
The idea of doing a musical based on the life of sharpshooter Annie Oakley originated with Dorothy Fields in the mid 1940s, who never considered anyone but her friend Ethel Merman for the lead. (By this time Herbert and Dorothy Fields had co-authored four musicals for Merman, the most recent being SOMETHING FOR THE BOYS in 1943). Merman instantly agreed to take on the show, but when the Fields’ longtime producer Mike Todd turned the project down, they took it to a team of producers who, though novices in the field of producing, knew a thing or two about musicals nevertheless—Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II.
Having scored with two folk American musicals of their own (OKLAHOMA! and CAROUSEL), Rodgers & Hammerstein were all too happy to sign on as producers of what was originally called ANNIE OAKLEY. Hammerstein's longtime partner Jerome Kern was to write the music, Dorothy Fields the lyrics, and Dorothy and Herbert were to co-author the book. Jerome Kern's sudden death in November of 1945 changed everything.
Rather than scuttle plans for ANNIE OAKLEY, Rodgers, Hammerstein and the Fields turned instead towards finding the right team or person to take on the job of writing the score. All four felt unanimously that there was one person absolutely right for the job, but since he wrote words as well as music, Dorothy Fields would have to relinquish her role as lyricist. She had no trouble making her decision—if Irving Berlin would write the score for ANNIE OAKLEY, Dorothy Fields would happily step aside.
Irving Berlin had not written for Broadway since LOUISIANA PURCHASE in 1940, and, fresh from a patriotic three year stint with his revue THIS IS THE ARMY, he was at first skeptical that his unique style was still in fashion. The musical revolution that Rodgers & Hammerstein had fomented with OKLAHOMA! changed the rules, and Berlin wasn’t sure he wanted to play by them. Still, it made sense when Rodgers & Hammerstein suggested that Berlin borrow the script, look at it over the weekend and see if he couldn't come up with a tune or two.
Berlin took their advice and the following Monday morning he came bounding into their office with three completed songs under his arms: "You Can’t Get a Man with a Gun," "Doin’ What Comes Natur’lly," and "There’s No Business Like Show Business." Bulls eye again.
Directed by Joshua Logan, with sets by Jo Mielziner and costumes by Lucinda Ballard, starring Ethel Merman as Annie Oakley and Ray Middleton as Frank Butler, and with a rousing new title, ANNIE GET YOUR GUN opened at the Imperial Theatre, New York, on May 16, 1946. It was a smash success and the critics cheered.
"For verve and buoyancy, unslackening, there has seldom if ever been a show like it," said William Hawkins in the World Telegram. In the Post Vernon Rice declared "Irving Berlin has outdone himself this time. No use trying to pick a hit tune, for all the tunes are hits." Lewis Nichols of the New York Times modestly maintained that "it takes little gift of prophecy to add that [ANNIE GET YOUR GUN and Ethel Merman] will chant their saga of sharp-shooting for many months to come." In fact, ANNIE GET YOUR GUN ran on Broadway for an astounding 1,147 performances. (The first musical after OKLAHOMA! to go over the 1000+ performance plateau, ANNIE GET YOUR GUN was, along with Rodgers & Hammerstein's OKLAHOMA!, SOUTH PACIFIC and THE KING AND I, part of the elite quartet of longest running musicals in Broadway's golden era.)
Dolores Gray starred in the 1947 London production, which ran at the Coliseum for 1,304 performances. Mary Martin headed the U.S. national tour, which began in October of 1947 and travelled for nineteen months; she subsequently played Annie to John Raitt's Ray Butler in a 1957 NBC telecast. MGM released the movie version of ANNIE GET YOUR GUN in 1956; Betty Hutton starred (in a role originally slated for Judy Garland), and Howard Keel played Butler.
In 1966 Ethel Merman re-created her role in a Music Theater of Lincoln Center production, presented by Richard Rodgers. Irving Berlin wrote a new song for this production, "An Old Fashioned Wedding."
In the years since, hundreds of actresses have played Annie Oakley, from Paris (ANNIE DU FAR-WEST) to Berlin (SCHIESS LOS, ANNIE!), from Evi Hayes in Melbourne, Australia to Chiemi Eri in Tokyo, Japan. ANNIE GET YOUR GUN has been seen in Kuala Lumpur, Zimbabewe, Venezuela and throughout Europe. The R&H Theatre Library, which licenses productions of ANNIE GET YOUR GUN, estimates that 450 productions are given in the United States every year.
In the 1990s ANNIE GET YOUR GUN kept "doin’ what comes natur’lly" with a sumptuous studio recording from EMI Records, featuring Kim Criswell and Thomas Hampson under the musical direction of John McGlinn; a U.S. national tour starring Cathy Rigby, directed by Susan Schulman, which originated at the Houston Grand Opera in July 1992 and toured throughout the following year; and a U.K. national tour and West End production starring Kim Criswell and John Dierdrich.
At the end of the 20th century Annie Oakley aimed her bullets over Broadway once more, with a Tony winning revival starring Bernadette Peters and Tom Wopat. Opening in April 1999, it ran on Broadway for over two and a half years, and spawned a successful national tour. In its second year, country music star Reba McEntire made her Broadway debut in the title role, and took the town by storm.
"Berlin’s greatest achievement in the theater," wrote New York Post critic Clive Barnes about the ’99 revival, "should carry ANNIE GET YOUR GUN happily into the next century and a bit beyond. It will always be a musical for the ages, one of the Broadway theater’s enduring triumphs."



Liste des chansons

Acte I
Overture — Orchestra
"Buffalo Bill" — Charlie Davenport, Dolly Tate & Chorus
"I'm a Bad, Bad Man" — Frank Butler
"Doin' What Comes Natur'lly" — Annie and her 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, Charlie Davenport, Annie, and ensemble
"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" — Riding Mistress and Show People
"There's No Business Like Show Business" (Reprise) — Annie Oakley
"My Defenses Are Down" — Frank and ensemble
"Wild Horse Ceremonial Dance" — Wild Horse, Indian Braves and Maidens
"I'm an Indian, Too" — Annie and ensemble
Adoption Dance — Annie Oakley, Wild Horse and Braves

Acte II
Act II Entr'acte — Orchestra
"I Got Lost In His Arms" § — Annie
"Who Do You Love, I Hope" — Winnie Tate and Tommy Keeler
"I Got the Sun in the Morning" — Annie and ensemble
"They Say It's Wonderful" (Reprise) — Annie Oakley and Frank Butler
"The Girl That I Marry" (Reprise) — Frank Butler
"Anything You Can Do" — Annie and Frank
"Show Business" (Reprise) — Ensemble

§ omitted from the 1950 film version
"Let's Go West Again" was written by Berlin for the 1950 film but was not used. However, there are recordings by both Betty Hutton and Judy Garland

Acte I
"There's No Business Like Show Business" - Frank and Company
"Doin' What Comes Natur'lly" — Annie, Kids and Foster Wilson
"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" (Reprise) — Frank, Buffalo Bill, Charlie and Annie
"I'll Share It All With You" — Tommy, Winnie and Company
"Moonshine Lullaby" — Annie, Kids, Ensemble Trio
"There's No Business Like Show Business" (Reprise) — Annie
"They Say It's Wonderful" — Annie and Frank
"My Defenses Are Down" — Frank and Young Men
Finale: "You Can't Get a Man with a Gun (Reprise)" - Annie

Acte II
Entracte: The European Tour — Annie and Company
"I Got Lost In His Arms" — Annie
"Who Do You Love, I Hope" — Tommy, Winnie and Company
"I Got the Sun in the Morning" — Annie and Company
"An Old-Fashioned Wedding" - Annie and Frank
"The Girl That I Marry" (Reprise) — Frank
"Anything You Can Do" — Annie and Frank
"They Say It's Wonderful" (Reprise) — Annie, Frank and Company

Liste des rôles

Annie Oakley—a sharpshooter in the Wild West show
Frank Butler—the Wild West show's star
Foster Wilson—hotel owner
Chief Sitting Bull—Sioux warrior; Annie's protector, but used by Pawnee Bill's competing show
Tommy Keeler—knife-thrower in the Wild West show; Winnie's boyfriend; part Native American
Charlie Davenport—manager of the Wild West show
Winnie Tate—Dolly's daughter (sister in the 1999 revival); Tommy's girlfriend and his assistant in the knife-throwing act
Col. William F. Cody (Buffalo Bill)-owner of the Wild West show
Dolly Tate—Frank's assistant; Winnie's mother (sister in the 1999 revival)
Pawnee Bill—owner of a competing western show
Annie's brothers and sisters: Jessie, Nellie, Little Jake, and Minnie (Minnie was written out of the 1999 revival[4])

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Principaux CD du musical

1) 1946-05-Original Broadway Cast

2) 1947-07-Original London Cast

3) 1950-05-Film Soundtrack

4) 1957-??-Studio Cast

5) 1963-05-Berlin Cast

6) 1966-05-Lincoln Center Cast

7) 1986-07-London Cast

8) 1995-??-London Studio Cast

9) 1999-03-Broadway Cast

10) 2000-12-German Cast

Liste détaillée des principaux CD