Renaissance Players present ‘Annie Get Your Gun’ July 11-20 at The Renaissance Center
Release Date: 7/2/2003. Expired: 7/20/2003
If you’ve never seen the Irving Berlin musical Annie Get Your Gun, you might be surprised to hear several familiar songs when the Renaissance Players present the show July 11-20 at The Renaissance Center in Dickson.
Annie Get Your Gun shows at 7 p.m. July 11-12 and 18-19 and 2 p.m. July 13 and 20. Tickets are $10 for adults, $8 for seniors and $5 for children under 13. It is the final show of the 2002-03 theatre seasons at The Renaissance Center.
Bellevue resident Beth Burch, a veteran of several Renaissance Players productions, including Dearly Departed, The Odd Couple, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat and Harvey, fills the role of Annie Oakley, the hillbilly with a knack for shooting guns.
After she joins Buffalo Bill’s traveling Wild West Show, Annie falls hopelessly in love with the show’s featured shooting ace, Frank Butler, played by David Arnold of Fairview. As Annie and Frank compete to become the main attraction, spawning the ever-popular Anything You Can Do I Can Do Better showdown, Annie realizes she’ll have to make some hard choices if she wants to win the man she loves, as she laments You Can’t Get a Man With a Gun.
Arnold has appeared on The Renaissance Center stage in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum and Arsenic and Old Lace.
Hal Partlow, managing director of the Renaissance Repertory Theatre Company, directs the Renaissance Players production of Annie Get Your Gun, which presents the 1999 revival version with Peter Stone’s revisions to Herbert and Dorothy Fields’ original book. Not only did Stone update the story for modern times, but there have been revisions to Berlin’s original score as well.
“Annie Get Your Gun is a show within a show,” Partlow said. “It is the hilarious story of Annie’s efforts to be the best shooter but also is a love story between Annie and Frank, as he deals with the prospects of being outshot by a woman. The whole plot takes place within the confines of Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show.”
Carey Thompson, an assistant district attorney for the 23rd Judicial District, returns to the stage as Buffalo Bill Cody. Thompson previously appeared in Renaissance Players productions of Harvey, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, The Sound of Music and Arsenic and Old Lace.
Fairview’s Ty Bissell, most recently seen in Arsenic and Old Lace, plays Dolly Tate. White Bluff’s Amanda Kopischke has the role of Winnie Tate. Thomas Whiting of Charlotte plays Charlie Davenport to follow his role as Teddy Brewster in Arsenic and Old Lace. The cast for Annie Get Your Gun also includes Bryce Conner, Randy Jett, Matthew Romine, Mel Romine, Sarah LeJeune, Olivia Hutchison, Jesse LeJeune, Thomas Patzner, Katherine Jett and Kristen Butler.
Ned and Kay Mann will direct the Renaissance Players Orchestra for their second performance. Alix McEachern Jones and Kendra Magee are the choreographers. Kim Brownfiel Cantu of Bon Aqua is stage manager for her fourth production. The set is designed by Emmy-winner Robert Cooper of The Renaissance Center’s Toy Shop. Michael Knight Jr. is technical director and designed the lighting for the show while Ray Dryden handles sound design. Amy Arrington of the Renaissance Repertory Theatre Company designed the costumes.
The practically legendary sound of Ethel Merman belting out There’s No Business Like Show Business came from the musical’s debut at the Imperial Theatre in 1946. Annie Get Your Gun had been written specifically for Merman. Playwright Dorothy Fields had felt that casting Merman as Annie Oakley would guarantee a surefire hit.
Annie Get Your Gun was revived on Broadway in 1999 with Bernadette Peters in the title role while Tom Wopat of The Dukes of Hazard played Frank Butler. Since then, country superstar Reba McEntire stepped in to take over the role on Broadway and Marilu Henner has toured the country as Annie.
The original Annie Get Your Gun ran in New York for 1,147 shows and was the third longest running musical of the 1940s, giving Merman her biggest Broadway hit. A movie version of the play was made in 1950 starring Betty Hutton and Howard Keel. In a 1999 USA Today story about a legal battle over the film, Hutton said of Annie Get Your Gun “It’s the best movie I ever made. I cry in my soul for it.”
For more information on the Renaissance Players production of Annie Get Your Gun, call (615)740-5600. To purchase tickets for a performance call (615)740-5570.
The Renaissance Center is an arts and technology education and performing arts center at 855 Highway 46 South in Dickson, just 35 miles west of Nashville on Interstate 40 at exit 172.
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