Another show. It seems like we just started rehearsals (around Labor Day was when it all began). To others, it probably seems like we’ve been going at it for a hundred years. It’s gone by fast for me.
Last week I researched some historical information on Annie Oakley to include in the program notes. What I found was quite interesting…
Her real name was Phoebe Ann Mosey. She was born in Darke County, Ohio, 13 August 1860. It is said that she changed her name to “Oakley” in honor of the Ohio town of the same name.
Frank Butler – the sharpshooter Annie would eventually marry and live happily ever after with – was only too glad to become Annie’s assistant and manager after she consistently outshot him in the Wild West Show performances. (The movie and Broadway versions depict Frank as more of an arrogant chauvinist.)
The Butlers were happily married all of their years together. (In fact, off stage, Annie always referred to herself as Mrs. Frank Butler.) They retired back to her hometown in Ohio after their careers in show business were over, even though, at age 62, Annie could still nail 100 clay targets in a row without missing.
Always together in life, it makes beautiful sense that they died together. Annie passed away on 3 November, 1926, and Frank died 3 weeks later, on the 21st — both of natural causes.
Great story, great show. Or at least I’m hoping it will be….
See you on the other side of it all.