August 3, 2004 > Annie Get Your Gun
Annie Get Your Gun
by Praveena Raman
The 1999 Broadway revival of the 1940s musical Annie Get Your Gun opened at Stage 1 Theatre on Friday July 23rd. The story is a fictionalized account of sharpshooter Annie Oakley (Merilee Pettersen) who beats vaudeville marksman Frank Butler (Lee Watson) in a competition. The two gunslingers then fall in love and get married.
The play opens with the song "There's No Business Like Show Business" before introducing Frank and Annie. In many of the musicals that are produced in community theatres, the actors who play the main characters often warm up to their roles and steadily get stronger as the production goes on. In Annie Get Your Gun, it was refreshing to see Merilee Pettersen present a commanding presence right from the start. Her expressive face, strong voice and incredible acting stole the show. Lee Watson charmingly provided a strong support with his character as Frank Butler, especially in "Anything You Can Do I Can Do Better." Jody Pearce as Winnie Tate and Greg Lucas as Tommy Keeler looked as though they were made for each other. Jess Martinez as Buffalo Bill was in character, and he and the other actors played good supporting roles. On the whole, the ensemble could have been more effective.
The Orchestra, directed by Ross Gershenson, was small but successful. Fremont Education Foundation teacher Althea Rahman played the oboe with FUDTA president Greg Bonaccorsi on the horn. This simple but powerful musical was tastefully directed by Margot Abbot and choreographed by Lisa Otterstetter. It was wonderful to see Margot Abbot use local talent in more ways than one. Lovely paintings of Merilee Pettersen and Lee Watson done by Knuti Van Hoven provided a wonderful touch. This is definitely a show that the entire family can enjoy and a great way to spend a summer evening.
August 6th and 7th at 8:00 p.m.
Annie Get Your Gun
Stage 1 Theatre
Newark High School
39375 Cedar Blvd., Newark
Advance Purchase $15;
College Students & Seniors $16;
High School Students (with ID) and younger $10;
Groups of 10 or more $10/person (group tickets in advance only).
Tickets can be purchased online at http://stevenstown.com/stage1v20/Buy.asp. Or by calling (510) 791-0287 or at the Book End by calling (510) 797-4100.