The Ardmore Little Theatre’s production of Annie Get Your Gun brings a classic to life, guaranteeing that you won’t leave without a laugh. And that you most definitely will have the songs stuck in your head for the rest of the night.
Garrett Larson’s entrance as Frank Butler is enchanting as he sings “There’s No Business Like Show Business” without any musical accompaniment and the spotlight singly on him.
When the live orchestra chimes in, it is even more magical— as are most of the musical numbers.
The production is centered around Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show, which affords the cast many comical digs at the industry. Annie Oakley (Katy Morrow) is discovered by Buffalo Bill (Dillon Bell) when she is chosen to go up against Frank in a sharpshooting contest.
Morrow is a fantastic Annie Oakley and truly steals the show at several moments, as does Annie from Frank in the story. Or as she refers to him throughout the show— the “big stolen headed stiff.”
But Annie is also infatuated with the idea of love. So when she finds out Frank is looking for a dainty girl, the two don’t mix very well. When she outshoots Frank in the contest, Buffalo Bill asks her to join the show.
Annie is okay with being Frank’s assistant for a while due to her deep infatuation with him, but she slowly begins to overshadow him. When the show desperately needs money, she saves it by performing an act so daring that it knocks Chief Sitting Bull (Bill Takes Horse) off his feet.
The crew does a great job of setting up these stunts, using simulated gun shots and popping balloons out of cast member’s hands.
Frank, however, is not too thrilled about Annie becoming the star. In fact, Frank’s jealousy makes his character easy to dislike as he abandons Annie to become the star of another show, leaving her with nothing but a note that she can’t read because she never learned how.
Annie goes on with the show, receiving medals from around the world, but when both of the shows go bankrupt, they plan a merger and Annie must reunite with Frank once more.
Here we get Morrow’s touching performance of “I Got Lost in His Arms.” Annie is noticeably still in love with Frank but their dynamic has changed.
When Frank talks of marriage once more, he pictures “An Old Fashioned Wedding.” However, Annie wants a marriage where she will “love and honor” him “but not obey”. The two are the definition of opposites attract, which is emphasized by the classic musical number “Anything You Can Do.”
Morrow and Larson really shine in this musical number with impeccable voice control and a great rendition of the song.
The secondary couple, Winnie Tate (Jenna Elmer-Welch) and Tommy Keeler (Dylan Morrow) are also notably charming and well-played throughout the production.
Besides rousing laughter throughout the audience, the show also hints at the sometimes harsh reality— and the ups and downs— of show business with lines like the “crass, heartless world of grease paint and glitter” from the well-played villain of the show, Dolly Tate (Abigail Stewart).
And with how many times you hear “there’s no business like show business” you certainly won’t forget it. Nor will you forget this fantastic version of Annie Get Your Gun presented by the Ardmore Little Theatre.
The production will run July 18 - 20 and July 25 - 27 at 7 p.m. As well as Sunday, July 21 at 2:30 p.m. at the Charles B. Goddard Center.
Student tickets can be purchased for $8 and adult tickets can be purchased for $15 at www.ardmorelittletheatre.com or by calling 580-223-6387.