Ethel Merman was in her late 30s when she created the role of Annie Oakley in the original production of Annie Get Your Gun in 1946, which was a bit too old for the historical Annie, but given that the show took lots of other liberties with history, it probably didn’t matter much.
Of course, 20 years later Merman was 20 years older when she revived the role at Lincoln Center, but most people didn’t seem to mind. It was Merman, after all. That production was even televised.
And it featured a brand spankin’ new song by Irving Berlin.
Apparently he didn’t take his recent disappointment with Mr. President lying down. He rolled out a new duet for the Merm and Bruce Yarnell as Frank Butler to sing, “An Old Fashioned Wedding”.
Here are Patti LuPone and Peter Gallagher singing it from The Rosie O’Donnell Show broadcast on July 14, 1998: