Final set for the the original Broadway production,
done in 1946...Irving Berlin came of out retirement to do the show.
Originally, Jerome Kern was slated to write the music,
Dorothy Fields the lyrics, but when Jerome passed away,
Irving stepped in to do both. It has some of Irving's best music,
some think because he wanted to prove to Rodgers and Hammerstein
that he still had "it" in him!
Dorothy Fields come up with idea!
She envisioned from the "get go" as perfect for her friend,
Ethel especially liked the idea of Irving Berlin as the
show's composer, as he was happy to write in her
vocal range and style.
For the 1951 movie, Judy Garland was cast.
However, literally half-way thru shooting,
Judy had to bow out due to ill health.
Rumor has it that she was also bullied by
Busby Berkeley, the first of 3 (count 'em, 3) directors!
She looks pretty terrorized here...
Her replacement was Betty Hutton,
and replacing Judy wasn't fun.
Most of the cast and crew thought Betty had stolen the part.
She wasn't invited to the New York premiere.
It was Howard Keel's film debut...here he is with
Betty, Keenan Wynn, and Louis Calhern.
Frank Morgan was supposed to play the part of
Buffalo Bill, but died of a heart attack after
completing the first production number!
In the 1999 revival, Annie was played by Bernadette Peters...
and in 2001, by Reba McEntire...
She was fab!