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Review

Annie Get Your Gun
by Children's Civic Light Opera
 

The Show:  

There’s No Business Like Show Business, and Irving Berlin’s Annie Get Your Gun is one of the classic shows in show business – a fun, lively, and romantic musical comedy about phenomenal sharpshooter Annie Oakley’s rise to fame, beginning when Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show rides through Cincinnati and Frank Butler (Buffalo Bill’s biggest star) gets outgunned by a young, unknown country gal by the name of Annie Oakley (1860 - 1926) who has been keeping herself and her little siblings fed through her pinpoint hunting. Frank and Buffalo Bill offer her a chance to join their tour and see the world, but she'll have to leave Ohio to do it.  

Completely smitten with Frank, Annie packs up her family and leaves Ohio in the dust. The rest of the tale follows their on-and-off-and-on-again romance amidst shootin’ duels and ego wars. In addition to its incomparable opening and closing number There's No Business Like Show Business, this musical features such hit songs as Anything You Can Do (I Can Do Better), They Say It's Wonderful, Doin' What Comes Natur'lly, I’ve Got the Sun in the Morning, and You Can't Get a Man With a Gun.  

The Production:  

Director Diane Feldman leads her group at Children’s Civic Light Opera in Los Angeles in a big and vibrant production of the show. A couple of the roles were double-cast, with Benina Stern and Oliver Berliner playing Annie and Frank in this showing. Benina is an incoming high school senior with great vocals for the role and an easy, charming demeanor. Oliver is an up-and-coming twelve-year-old actor who sings well and has a good, natural understated humor about him.  

Young lovers Tommy Keeler (Sasha Markgraf) and Winnie Tate (Carly Besterman) infuse their lighthearted number with charm, heart, and hope. Winnie’s elder sister Dolly is played with great attitude and humor by Sarah Toutounchian. Arielle Singer kicks things off nicely as a good-natured Arta “Buffalo Billie” Cody, the owner of the Wild West Show. Other good performances include natural comedian Benny Pitt as Buffalo Billie’s right-hand man Charlie Davenport, Geoffrey Burton as the wise Sitting Bull, and a terrific little quartet of Oakley siblings (Isa Berliner, Alekos Tetradis, Zoe Wernik, and Caitlyn Turen) are a hoot Doin’ What Comes Natur’lly and in an amusing reprise of You Can’t Get a Man With a Gun.  

Elsewhere, the entire cast shines in the big opening of There’s No Business Like Show Business and the closing reprise of They Say It’s Wonderful with good charisma and choral work. And they look good doing it with an assist from Costume Designer Nicholas Hirata. While Scenic Designers John Ong, John Paul Luckenbach, and Miriam Dafford set the stage with a truly impressive set including a beautiful and posh train interior (for when show business was goin’ gangbusters) and a rusting cattle boat (for when show business ain’t so good). 

Performed August 6 - 7, 2011

Rob Hopper
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Executive Director
National Youth Arts

~ Cast ~ 

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Arta "Buffalo Billie" Cody: Arielle Singer
Madge: Sofia Frohna
Mabel: Hannah Lottenberg
Charlie Davenport: Benny Pitt
Grace: Daisy Mcelfresh
Granny Applebaum: Isabel Jacobs
Frank Butler: Oliver Berliner
Dolly Tate: Sarah Toutounchian
Mary Blacksmith: Nora Roeder
Mrs. Sylvia Potter-Porter: Alyssa Lapardo
Mrs. Percy Ferguson/Can-Can Girl: Gabby Cornejo
Mrs. Ernest Henderson/Italian Princess: Nicole Montellano
Mrs. Schuyler Adams/Russian Princess: Gabby Price
Ms. Victoria Bradshaw/Queen Victoria: Sarah Abikzer
Winnie Tate: Carly Besterman
Gertie: Selena Donayre
Becky: Sara Laramie
Tommy Keeler: Sasha Markgraf
Wild River: Sammy Victor
Foster Wilson: Thanassis Tetradis
Emma Wilson: Cricket Cary-Green
Chief Sitting Bull: Geoffrey Burton
Scarlet Woman: Zoe Wong
Crow Foot: Josh Zucker
Black Tooth: Reno Behnken
Quiet Bear: Rebecca Bangasser
Annie Oakley: Benina Stern
Jake: Alekos Tetradis
Jessie: Isa Berliner
Nellie: Zoe Wernik
Minnie: Caitlyn Turen
Mayor Pawnee Bill Lillie: Milo Bechtloff
May Lillie: Lauren Andelin
Ruthie: Taylor Williams
Constance: Jessie Garfield
Clara: Blair Peppe
Rosemarie: Akira Shelton
Ruby: Sara Andelin
Rowena: Lily Chavkin
Rhoda: Hannah Abikzer
Summer Theatre Playground Players:
Elysha Chae
Josephine Chae
Tess Cuen
Emily Gross
Henry Jakubowicz
Charlie Sisk
Alexia Solomon
Dev Wernik

Director/Musical Director/Producer: Diane Feldman
Assistant Director/Production Stage Manager: Alyce Tawil
Choreographer: Courtney Bradshaw
Costume Design and Construction: Nicholas Hirata
Art Director/Lead Scenic Painter: Miriam Dafford
Assistant Stage Managers: Sarah Cowan, Emma Laramie
Staff Assistant/Assistant Producer: Emma Laramie
Staff Assistant/Dance Captain: Sarah Cowan
Scenic Design: John Ong, John Paul Luckenbach, Miriam Dafford
Master Carpenter: Geoffrey Galper, Howard Behnken, Craig Singer, Josh Park
Set Construction Crew: Paul Schuricht, Alan Wong, Randy Cowan, Sandee Yamamoto, Jim Bangassar, josh Park
Lighting Design/Programming: Rob Fritz
Master Electricians: Coby Chasman-Beck, Geoffrey Galper
Electrics Crew: Matthew Shulman, Melissa Shulman, Susan Bishop, Alex Aronoff, Emma Studebaker
Followspot Operators: Samantha Garfield, Emma Studebaker
Sound Designer: Mimi Rodriguez
Assistant Sound Designer: Jim Fleck
RF Technician: Melissa Shulman
Audio Coordinator: Coby Chasman-Beck
Technical Director: John Paul Luckenbach
Company Photographer/Headshots: John Ong
Additional Photography By: Johanna Besterman, Craig Singer, Mark Frohna

   

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