The true story of Annie Oakley
Last updated 1/18/2012 at Noon
The new year is a time to look forward to the future and realize the value of the past. One of the best ways to value the past is by seeing a play that tells a true story. “Annie, Get Your Gun” tells the amazing true story of Annie Oakley in musical form.
The story begins in the 1880’s. Buffalo Bill’s famous Wild West show has just arrived in Cincinnati. One of their exhibits is putting the city’s marksmen up against their best marksman, Frank Butler.
The best marksman in every other city is just that – a man. But in Cincinnati, the best “marksman” happens to be a young woman, trying to raise her two sisters and brother on her own.
Annie creates quite a stir with her shooting. Buffalo Bill thinks that he’s found a great new act.
Frank Butler’s not sure what to think. He’s impressed and attracted to Annie, but also doesn’t like being outdone by a woman.
As for Annie, she’s eager to join the act, since it means steady income and a chance to travel. She also finds Frank very disarming, so to speak.
But is she about to hang up her guns, in order to spare Frank’s fragile ego?
Along the way, we also get to meet some other great characters. There’s Winnie Tate, who is frowned-upon for having a relationship with Tommy, a half Indian young man. Then there’s Dolly Tate, Winnie’s older sister, who has her eye on Frank Butler.
The songs are all very good. One of the show stoppers is “Anything You Can Do, I Can Do Better.”
The Village Theatre has, as always, a perfect cast. The title role goes to Vicki Noon who is returning to the Village Theatre after a long absence. She very charming here as the stubborn hillbilly.
Dane Stokinger plays the prideful Frank Butler. He has the difficult challenge of making Frank seem likable, yet flawed.
Playing the late great Buffalo Bill, is acting veteran Hugh Hastings. Here he plays a very jovial and free-spirited man.
Vying for Frank’s attention is the abrasive Dolly Tate, who is played by Kathryn Van Meter. Her Dolly will remind many of Harriet Olsen on “Little House on the Prairie.”
Taylor Niemeyer plays Dolly’s younger sister, Winnie, who is in love with Tommy. She’s a new face to this stage, but hopefully she’ll return in the near future.
Her beaux Tommy is played by Gabriel Corey. He handles the part very well and is a great dancer.
Casey Raiha plays Charlie Davenport, Buffalo Bill’s business manager. Johnny Patchamatla plays the deadpan Sitting Bull, who becomes like a father to Annie.
Maggie Barry, Analiese Emerson Guettinger and Jonah Schmidt play Annie’s young siblings, who tag along on her trips.
This is funny and touching story that should be known by the next generation. Don’t miss it!
“Annie, Get Your Gun” is playing at the Everett Performing Arts Center on Thursday, Jan. 29. For ticket information call 425-257-8600.