Saturday, July 31, 2010

"Annie Get Your Gun" set for August "Meet Me at the Movies" event

The Prairie District Neighborhood Alliance (PDNA) invites you to "Meet Me at the Movies," Friday August 27, 2010 at 6:30 p.m. at Sherwood Community Music School, Columbia College recital hall, 1312 S. Michigan Ave.

Annie Get Your Gun, the story about sharpshooters Annie Oakley and Frank Butler became one of the most popular musicals of all time. It ran on Broadway for 1,147 performances, with Ethel Merman in the title role.

After its Broadway run, the film rights were purchased by MGM for their top musical talent Judy Garland. During filming, it was obvious to many that Garland wasn’t well. She eventually had to drop out of the movie, leaving production in limbo. Many of the big musical numbers were filmed with Garland and she recorded the entire score for the movie soundtrack. Without Garland to finish the picture, all of her footage would have to be scrapped.

  Betty Hutton was a top star at rival Paramount. She had hoped her home studio would have purchased the movie rights to Annie Get Your Gun for her. When MGM acquired the rights, Hutton was terribly disappointed. But she never imagined that MGM would offer her the role when Garland couldn’t complete the picture.

The role of a lifetime just fell into Hutton’s lap and she ran with it. When the movie was released, Variety called the movie “socko musical entertainment.” Bosley Crowther, movie critic at the New York Times said, “Miss Hutton … imparts to the role of the fabulous lady marksman a great deal of humor and bounce.” The reaction from the public was unanimous: it was a hit! In fact it was one of the biggest box office successes in MGM’s history and Hutton was on top of the world.

For the role of Frank Butler, MGM signed newcomer Howard Keel, better known to modern audiences as Clayton Farlow on TV’s Dallas. His strong baritone voice perfectly complimented Hutton’s rich alto.

A classic movie musical, Annie Get Your Gun proves once and for all “There’s No Business Like Show Business!”

Admission to the movie is $5. Dinner afterward (not required) at Kroll's South Loop, 1736 S. Michigan Ave., is $15 per person.

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