Indians, shoot outs and pistol packin’ mama’s.
That’s what you will find this weekend in Dixon Auditorium with Foothills Theater’s performance of Irving Berlin’s “Annie Get Your Gun.”
Set in the 1880s and based off historical figures Annie Oakley and Frank Butler, “Annie Get Your Gun” is a musical about Annie Oakley’s rise to fame as a female sharp shooter.
With an Irving Berlin musical score, the musical is full of well-known songs such as “Anything You Can Do” and “There’s No Business Like Show Business.”
“The cast has been wonderful and the children in the play have done a great job,” said director of the play, Leighanne Martin Wright. “Everyone has worked really hard. The singing is stellar from the leads to the ensemble. All of the numbers sound wonderful.”
The last time Foothills Theater performed “Annie Get Your Gun” was in 1993, and this year marks the 40th anniversary of when the play was first performed in Elkin in 1972. Elkin Theater group also changed names in 1972 from Elkin Summer Theater to Foothills Theater.
“We couldn’t have picked a more perfect year to perform the play,’” Wright said. “Not only are we performing the same play 40 years later, but also the anniversary of the Foothills name change.”
Wright enjoys all of the musical numbers but has found the one song she wanted to cut is now her favorite.
“I wanted to cut ‘I’m an Indian Too,’ but was convinced not to,” she said. “It’s now my favorite song and has a great dance to go along with it.”
Performer in the play, Kitsey Burns, of East Bend, was active in bringing “Annie Get Your Gun” to the stage this summer. Burns has performed in several plays such as The Curious Savage; Love, Loss and What I Wore; Kiss Me Kate; Annie and A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum.
“I have enjoyed every show I have been involved with, but being able to do one of my personal favorite shows is really a dream come true. ‘Annie Get Your Gun’ is my favorite show, because it is the first one I saw on Broadway and one I have longed to be a part of ever since,” Burns said. “I knew Foothills Theatre had done the production in 1972 and 1993, but it’s worth revisiting because it is such a great show that really showcases all ages which makes for a great community experience.”
When the real Annie Oakley and Frank Butler met, she was 15 and he was 25. The plays’ cast mimics reality with the 10-year-age-gap with Jamie Leigh Groce, 20 of Hamptonville, as Oakley and Rupard Mack, 30 of Jonesville, as Butler.
Groce, starting at Appalachian State University this fall to study acting, has been performing since she was in the seventh grade.
“I was interested in playing Annie, because she was a spitfire and spunky. I love that and it was a good chance to play a comedic role with quick fire humor,” Groce said. “I thought it was my chance to be a little like Lucille Ball, who is my role model.”
Performing in only his second play, Mack liked the cowboy image of Frank Butler.
“I really like playing someone who is kind of arrogant because that is totally opposite from me,” Mack said. “It’s nice to play something that you really aren’t.”
Both leads agreed that the biggest challenge has been learning the choreography but that lines, music and dancing have all come together well.
“I think the play has gone extremely well, and I’ve met alot of new people,” Groce said. “I’ve gotten to interact with so many talented people in the community that you would never even know has talent unless there was a play to showcase it.”
“Annie Get Your Gun” will be performed at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, July 20, and Saturday, July 21, and at 2:30 p.m. on Sunday, July 22, in Dixon Auditorium at Elkin High School. Tickets are ate $10 for adults and teens and $5 for children 12 and under. Tickets are available at the door and doors will open 30 minutes before the performance.
Jamie Leigh Groce as Annie Oakley
Rupard Mack as Frank Butler
James Freeman as Charlie
Morgan Harrison as Buffalo Bill
Christine Werner Booher as Dolly Tate
Gabriel Hammesfahr as Little Jake
Abbey Johnson as Nellie
Whitney Sprinkle as Jessie
Adriana Mantero as Minnie
Judy Deck as Mrs. Wilson
Will Parks as Chief Sitting Bull
Mason Harrison as Pawnee Bill
Ensemble of Daniel Wilson, Aspen Jackson, Jessica Pickens, Amelia Davis, Courtney Kiser, Kitsey Burns, Stephen Deck, Michael Jones, Heidi Greenstein, Jason Smith, Grace Harrison, Christie Harrison, Henry Freeman, Vicky Zickmund, and Newell Hauser.
Leighanne Martin Wright is the director and set designer
Freddy Casstevens is the music director and accompanist
Kim Arnold is the choreographer
The orchestra also features Josh Casstevens, Nick Gordon, Julie Shaw and Jonathan Owens
Reach Jessica Pickens at 835-1513 ext. 18 or email@example.com