Annie Get Your Gun: sure fire hit

Cayman Drama Society’s production of Annie Get Your Gun definitely packs a punch.

Directed and produced by Sue Howe, the CDS’s version of the Irving Berlin musical was an entertaining romp through a much loved musical classic.

Asked how she felt about her second directorial offering Ms Howe said: ‘It’s been a huge challenge mounting a show of this size, and one that I am very grateful to have had the opportunity to tackle.

‘We’ve been very fortunate to have had such a dedicated cast and crew. We’ve also been honoured to have the wonderful talents of our musical director Sue Horrocks and all of our orchestra, without whom this show would not have been complete.

‘We hope everyone will come out to support this ensemble of local talent in Annie Get Your Gun.’

Peppered throughout with songs such as: ‘There’s No Business Like Show Business’, ‘Doin’ What Comes Natur’lly’ and ‘Anything You Can Do,’ the production hit many high notes.

Bolstered by an energetic cast, the story of the feisty Wild West woman who tames and gets tamed by her love match Frank Butler, the show is part the Taming of the Shrew and part Pygmalion

Wendy Moore, in the title role, was a thoroughly convincing Annie.

For those of you who’ve seen Ms Moore only in the Fosters adverts, her performance was little short of a revelation. As the rootin’, tootin’ sure shot with a heart as big as a horse collar, she nailed the part from the very get-go.

Her outstanding acting abilities coupled with her perfect pitch and comic timing made her a shoe-in for the part.

Equally convincing as the unwashed buckskin broad and later the more ladylike Annie, Ms Moore held the audience’s attention throughout.

With her rolling gait, backwoods accent and hokey ways, she made the part her own. A highlight of her performance was the actress’ humorous soliloquy in Act 2, scene 2, which has to be seen to be appreciated.

Other actors, who gave noteworthy performances, included: Neil Rooney as Annie’s love interest Frank Butler, Adam Roberts as Foster Wilson and Pawnee Bill, Vanessa Hansen as Dolly Tate and Frank Braccia as Charlie Davenport.

As Frank Butler, Mr. Rooney gave a creditable performance. His vocal talents are prodigious and outshone his acting. Stand out moments for the actor included the wonderful duets with his co-star and every time he sang.

Adam Roberts turned in convincing performances as the hotel owner Foster Wilson and Showman Pawnee Bill. The attorney used the courtroom skills honed as a trial lawyer to engage the audience and pull in a convincing performance in both roles.

Vanessa Hansen Allott, no stranger to the CDS stage, got her teeth into the role of scheming, bigot Dolly Tate. As the sharpshooter’s arch nemesis, she owned the part flouncing around the stage at turns archly coy and at other times spiteful.

Ms Hansen breathed life into the role by sheer force of conviction. Her introduction to the audience was during her rendition of the opening song ‘There’s No Business…’ and made me sorry that there wasn’t a role in the show which would have taken fuller advantage of her singing talents.

The ensemble production, had its fair share of young actors, around 20 in all, including Lauren Moore as Winnie Tate, David Verhoeven as Tommy Keeler, (Annie’s siblings) Jessie, Nellie and Little Jake played during this performance by Samantha Luiso, Luisa Roberts and Nera Bracia.

The show had 18 children’s roles and the programme showed that many also had siblings and or parents performing.

At three hours long including interval, I would not recommend the musical for children under eight-years-old.

Annie Get Your Gun runs until May 27. Performances are Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays (doors open at 7pm, show starts 7.30pm), Sunday matinees (doors open 2.30pm, show starts 3pm). For ticket details call Omeria at the CDS Box Office on 949-5054.

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