Saw the show Saturday night. McArdle was fabulous. The audience was so excited when she first appeared that everyone broke into a long round of applause. We expected her voice to be awesome, but we had no idea what an amazing actress she is. She is spunky and had great chemistry with the audience and the other performers on stage. I will definitely buy one of her CDs now for the holidays.
I also didn't realize that there were so many wonderful musical numbers made famous in that show. I knew the show had No Business Like Show Business and Got the Sun in the Morning, but I didn't realize that "The Girl That I Marry," "Anything You Can Do," and many other wonderful songs were also from the show.
I also enjoyed the performances of Jeffrey Coon (who I saw at Walnut Street Theater last year in Beauty and the Beast and was completely amazed by his voice) and Mary Martello's and John Scherer's comedic timing. Oakley's younger siblings compliment McArdle nicely and have a tremendous amount of dancing and singing talent. I saw Council on Broadway, and I thought his performance here was much better. Perhaps, though, it is just that McAdle is such a better Annie Oakley than Bernadette Peters. This gives Council the ability to shine in this show.
All in all, it was an okay show on Broadway, but it is a great show here. Kudos to Parison for another huge hit (he directed Dream Girls last year--which was fabulous). I am going to take my children to see it the week between Christmas and New Years. I was very happy that the show was so good because there really were no family-friendly shows around this holiday season in Philadelphia. We had been searching for weeks and didn't even realize this show was on with such a powerhouse of talent.