Annie Get Your Gun at Lakewood Theatre Company - Sampling from the Oregonian Review
Theater review: Endearing new production at Lakewood Theatre Company
Published: Saturday, Sept. 10, 2011, 1:19 PM
Pictured: Photo by Lake Oswego Photographers.
A newcomer to this country need only to immerse himself in the Broadway musical, an art form sprung from our native soil, to apprehend certain essential traits of the American character. Optimism no matter how dire the circumstances, self improvement, and summoning the spunk to overcome the odds are themes of Annie Get Your Gun, excellently presented in an endearing new production at Lakewood Theatre Company.
The company uses a 1999 revision of the 1946 script that removes some unfortunate racism toward Native Americans found in the original but retains all the cheeky fun that arrives with this story of the illogic of love and the battle between the sexes. Still fresh and bright is the fable of sharp shooter Annie Oakley and how she joined Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show and fell in love with her swaggering rival, Frank Butler. Irving Berlin's jaunty, hummable songs, like "There's No Business Like Show Business" and "Anything You Can Do, I Can Do Better," ornament the production like sparkling baubles, thanks to wonderful singing accompanied by live musicians.
Besides the orchestra, conducted with a steady hand by musical director Alan D. Lytle, the show's centerpiece is actress Sara Catherine Wheatley, as Annie. From the time we are introduced to her, a backwoods yokel in buckskins shooting critters for food, to when we leave her in a white silk gown as the toast of Europe, her down-to-earth appeal, clear voice, and even rhythm never falter.
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Annie Get Your Gun: