Village Theatre produces that famous all-American musical featuring the based-on-real-life love story of sharp shooters Annie Oakley and Frank Butler.
Music and Lyrics by Irving Berlin, Book by Herbert Fields
Francis J. Gaudette Theatre
303 Front Street North
Issaquah, WA 98027
Issaquah Dates: November 9 – December 31, 2011
Wednesday - Saturday evenings: 8:00 PM
Saturday and Sunday matinees: 2:00 PM
Select Tuesday evenings: 7:30 PM
Select Sunday evenings: 7:00 PM
$22-$62, Box Office (425) 392-2202 or (866) 688-8849
Student & Military Rush: ½ price 30 minutes prior to curtain for any available seat. Group discounts available for groups of 10 or more.
Based loosely on the lives of the great entertainer Buffalo Bill and his star sharp-shooters Frank Butler and Annie Oakley, this kitchy classic from the golden age of American musicals is all about feel-good lyrics, high-energy choreography and a fiery romance.
Fresh off playing Elphaba in Wicked, Vicki Noon brings a vivacity and humor to the role of Annie that makes this character so delightful. Unfortunately her lively performance meets its match in the stoic form of Dane Stokinger, or what was perhaps a life-size cardboard cutout of Stokinger with an enormous black mustache painted on. While Stokinger's voice saves his solos, it is impossible to believe that his version of Frank Butler has anything to do with the dashing, passionate, charismatic lady-killer of the script. Noon tries desperately to pull a response out of him, but their on-stage chemistry makes any scene where they aren't screaming at each other dull. Noon's performance may at times be considered cartoonish, but it is musical theater and at least she is committed to the role.
The majority of the ensemble brings a great energy to dance numbers, though the vocal quality was not up to Village's usual excellent standards. The production overall had a distinctly amateur feel. Even Village's orchestra, with which I am usually thoroughly impressed, seemed pitchy and not entirely in sync. Coupled with embarrassing technical glitches which deflate Annie's big show-stopping shoot-out moment, and elongate the intermission by ten minutes, this production might as well be community theater. Good community theater, but certainly not up to the standards that Village patrons expect.
Some high points of the show includes the costumes, which were fun, creative and genre-appropriate, as well as the performances of Josh Feinsilber, Maggie Barry, and Analiese Emerson Guettinger as Annie's younger siblings. Also delightful was a great performance by Johnny Patchamatla as Sitting Bull.