On Jan. 26, 2001, Reba McEntire made her Broadway debut, starring as Annie Oakley in the revival of Annie Get Your Gun. On Tuesday, the country star reflected on her achievement on the 20th anniversary of her role, sharing a series of memories from the show.
McEntire posted a photo slideshow that began with her poster for the show in which she is smiling at the camera through a rope and wearing a fringed jacket and a cowboy hat. The post also included two photos of McEntire from the production, one of McEntire-as-Annie posing in a dirt-covered outfit and holding her signature gun and another in the same white outfit she wore on the poster. "20 years ago today I made my Broadway debut as Annie Oakley in Annie Get Your Gun!" her caption read. "I was so excited I could hardly stand it! #Broadway #AnnieOakley #AnnieGetYourGun."
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McEntire stepped into the revival of Annie Get Your Gun nearly two years after its opening and received critical praise for her performance, as well as a Drama Desk Award and Outer Critics Award. "McEntire’s energy and enthusiasm seem to shed a new glow on the whole production" Variety wrote at the time, calling the singer a "red-haired, bright-eyed ball of fire center-stage" who was "having the time of her life — and giving adoring audiences theirs."
"It would appear that she brought a new audience to Broadway — those who followed her career and came to see just her," American Theatre Wing president Roy Somlyo told Playbill On-Line. "I think it's very exciting that she was able to infuse the show with her great personality and talent."
Annie Get Your Gun is a fictionalized version of the life of sharpshooter Annie Oakley, who starred in Buffalo Bill's Wild West, and the show also depicts its titular character's romance with sharpshooter Frank E. Butler. With music and lyrics by Irving Berlin, Annie Get Your Gun includes a number of classic musical theater numbers like "Anything You Can Do," "There's No Business Like Show Business" and "You Can't Get a Man With a Gun." The show made its Broadway debut in 1946 and totaled 1,147 performances during its original run.