2012 Annie Get Your Gun

Annie Get Your Gun
Performance dates: 
19th-21st July 2012
Performance times: 
Evening perfomances 7.30pm, Matinee 2.30pm
Location: 
The Rose Theatre at St Mary's School Ascot
Synopsis: 

Act 1

 

Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show is preparing a performance in its circus big top and Buffalo Bill announces that it will tell the story of the tempestuous relationship between 2 shooting legends: Annie Oakley and Frank Butler (“There’s No Business Like Show Business”).

The show within a show opens with the wild west troupe arriving in Cincinnati, Ohio, and challenging local sharpshooters to compete against Frank Butler, its handsome, womanizing star. Dolly Tate, Frank’s ‘over the hill’ show assistant, who fantasizes that she and Frank are romantically linked, arrives with her sister Winnie. Winnie Tate assists Tommy Keeler, a knife performer in the show, and they are in love. Unfortunately, Dolly struggles to cope with Tommy’s mixed race and treats him badly alienating Winnie.

Foster Wilson doesn't appreciate the show taking over his hotel and refuses Frank’s offer of a match bet of $100 dollars. Annie Oakley, a backwoods huntress, visits the hotel hoping to sell game and shocks Dolly Tate by shooting the ‘wearin’ bird off her hat. Annie, with her young siblings, explain their simple backwoods ways to Wilson ("Doin' What Comes Natur'lly") and when Wilson learns she's a brilliant shot he enters her in the shooting match.

Before the match starts Annie meets Frank and instantly falls in love with him not knowing he will be her opponent. She asks if he likes her and he explains that the girl for him will "wear satin... and smell of cologne" ("The Girl That I Marry") leading Annie, rough, common and unwashed, to comically lament that "You Can't Get a Man with a Gun". At the shooting match Annie finds out that Frank is the "big swollen-headed stiff" from the Wild West Show. She wins the contest, and Buffalo Bill and Charlie Davenport, the show's manager, invite Annie to join the company. Annie agrees because she loves Frank even though she has no idea what "show business" is. Charlie, Buffalo Bill, and a reluctant Frank explain that "There's No Business Like Show Business".

On the train to Minneapolis Annie encourages Tommy and Winnie not to let Dolly upset them and they both realise that, regardless of their circumstances, they should be together (“I’ll Share It All With You”). The patronising Frank also begins to notice that Annie is becoming “softer and pinker” every day and their relationship deepens.

Buffalo Bill and Charlie then learn that their great rival, Pawnee Bill, will also be playing his show in Minneapolis and they ask Annie to do a special shooting trick to draw Pawnee Bill's business away which she agrees to do as a special surprise for Frank. Annie helps her siblings to sleep by singing the "Moonshine Lullaby".

In Minneapolis Buffalo Bill and Charlie meet Pawnee Bill and the great native American Chief Sitting Bull who is on his way home after meeting the American President. Annie’s new poster is revealed much to Frank’s disgust and he reminds Charlie that the show can only have one top dog. Winnie and Tommy, with the help of Annie, have been secretly married much to the disgust of Dolly. She threatens to leave the show and have the marriage annulled on the grounds that Winnie is not yet of age. When Annie sees her new poster she is overcome by her star status (“There’s No Business Like Show Business”)

Although Frank cannot stand the thought of sharing equal billing with Annie he also can’t help falling in love with her (“They Say It’s Wonderful”) and he offers to propose to her before the opening.

 

Annie, however, believing that Frank will propose full of pride after he’s seen her new trick asks him to wait.

Frank shocks his company drinking buddies when he tells them that his heart has, at last, been captured and that he plans to get engaged (“My Defenses Are Down”). However, when Annie performs her trick she becomes a star and is adopted by Chief Sitting Bull into the Sioux nation as his daughter. Hurt and angry Frank leaves Annie and the show, with Dolly and a reluctant Winnie, to join Buffalo Bill’s great competitor, Pawnee Bill (Finale Act 1: “You can’t get a man with a gun”).

 

 

Act 2

 

The Buffalo Bill show tours Europe with Annie as the star accompanied by Chief Sitting Bull (“Prologue: the European Tour”), but the company have to sneak back into New York having gone broke on the trip.  Annie rages against Frank for how he has treated her just as the company is invited to a reception at the Hotel Brevoort laid on by Buffalo Bill’s old rival, Pawnee Bill. His show is at “The Madison Square Garden” and is believed to be breaking all records.  Annie, despite her anger, still longs for Frank ("I Got Lost in His Arms").

At the hotel reception, full of New York high society, Winnie and Tommy, their marriage annulled by Dolly but still very much in love, are reconciled (“Who Do You Love I Hope”) but scamper off when Dolly arrives. She is followed by Pawnee Bill and Frank the former revealing that despite their New York success they are in fact broke because of New York costs and that they must merge with Buffalo Bill. Frank is delighted as this will mean that he and Annie can get back together. Buffalo Bill and Charlie arrive and they retire with Pawnee Bill, and an unhappy Dolly, to discuss the merger.

Chief Sitting Bull and Annie, proudly wearing the medals given to her by European royalty, make a grand entrance astonishing the reception guests. On hearing that Pawnee Bill is as broke as Buffalo Bill she agrees to a suggestion from Chief Sitting Bull, that she sell all her medals, worth $100,000, to finance the new merger ("I Got the Sun in the Mornin").

Just as Annie has put on her coat to leave, Frank appears. They finally confess their love and decide to marry although with comically different ideas about the wedding ("An Old-Fashioned Wedding"). Frank offers his meagre shooting medals to Annie as a pre-wedding gift leading to Annie revealing her dazzling array of European awards. Frank’s pride is hurt again, the wedding is cancelled and the merger called off.  Dolly is triumphant.  Annie and Frank agree to one last shooting match to decide once and for all who is best.

Before the match Dolly tries to sabotage Annie’s rifles so that she will lose to Frank and leave in shame but Dolly is discovered by Chief Sitting Bull and Charlie. Charlie unwisely confesses that he finds Dolly attractive and passionate leading her to start planning their marriage immediately and changing her mind about Tommy and Winnie. Chief Sitting Bull and Charlie complete the sabotage so that Annie and Frank can be together.

Frank and Annie are at loggerheads at the shooting match (“Anything You Can Do”) but by its end the result is a draw both of them deliberately missing for the sake of both shows and their relationship.

The show within the show ends with the merger back on, Tommy and Winnie together and accepted, Charlie helplessly trapped by Dolly and Frank and Annie working as full partners and very much in love (Finale “They Say That Falling In Love”).  

 

 

Cast list: 
Frank Butler - Darren Coppe
Annie Oakley - Sally Smith
Buffalo Bill Cody - Neil james
Dolly Tate - Helen Maffre
Charlie davenport - John beckitt
Tommy keeler - Luke Riches
Winnie Tate - Ellie Lansley
Chief Sitting Bull - Rick Comber
Pawnee Bill - Jim Bailey
Foster Wilson - Tony Maffre
Jessie, Annie's Little Sister - Cara bennyworth
Nellie, Annie's Other Little Sister - Charlotte Gayton
Little Jake, Annie's Little Brother - Luca Weiss
Running Water - Warwick Grigg
Eagle Feather - Chris Schwaner
Indian Sleeping car Porter - Barrington Woodward-Roberts
Messenger - Warwick Grigg
Queen Victoria - Maggie Talyor
King of Italy - Tony Maffre
Czar of Russia - Tony Rainsborough
King of France - Tony Love
Mrs Sylvia Potter-Porter - Valerie Ryalls
Mrs Schuyler Adams - Gill Love
Mac the Props Man - Tony Love
Cowgirls, Ladies, Debutantes -

Caroline Gayton, Rosemary Everett

Sheila Knight, Sue Mossman, Marilyn Lansley,

Liz Moore, Audrey Ripley, Chris Took

Cowboys, Gentlemen, Bachelors -

Warwick Grigg, Tony Love, Tony Maffre,

Tony Rainsborough,

Barrington Woodward-Roberts, Chris Schwaer, Warren Taylor

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