‘Annie Get Your Gun’ brings down the house with standout actors, stage effects

I am on a mission to be a cowgirl ever since seeing Village Theatre's new musical "Annie Get Your Gun." Or at least, to look like one. Karen Ann Ledger did a fantastic job bringing out the old-timey beauty in female actors, from bandanna sashes and wide-brimmed hats to frilly petticoats and lace-up booties. Similarly, the male performers were transformed into boot-clickin' buckaroos.

Dane Stokinger (Frank Butler) and Vicki Noon (Annie Oakley).

Dane Stokinger (Frank Butler) and Vicki Noon (Annie Oakley).

I am on a mission to be a cowgirl since seeing Village Theatre’s new musical “Annie Get Your Gun.” Or at least, to look like one.

Costume designer Karen Ann Ledger did a fantastic job bringing out the old-timey beauty in female actors, from bandanna sashes and wide-brimmed hats to frilly petticoats. Similarly, the male performers were transformed into boot-clickin’ buckaroos.

The costumes and custom-designed sets helped paint a picture of late 1800s Cincinnati, along with the dynamite cast, who pulled off a dance-heavy, theatrical Wild West-style show. There were stage tricks, circus acts and numerous sacrificial balloons to help with the sharpshootin’ effect.

Audience members who have never seen the musical will be excited to see the origin of popular tunes such as “There’s No Business Like Show Business” and “Anything You Can Do, I Can Do Better” composed by Irving Berlin, arguably one of the greatest American song writers.

While I love Berlin’s score, there were some moments in his show that I had to grit my teeth and lay my political-correctness aside with jokes involving the American Indian characters, or elements in the plot that were clearly pre-feminism. For anyone out there like me, just remember that the show was written in a different time and is meant to be playful and fun.

What’s more, it still has a pretty kick-ass female lead – Vicki Noon, who plays Annie Oakley, starring opposite Dane Stokinger as Frank Butler.

With his mustache and marksman getup, Stokinger was quite the hunk, with a set of pipes to match. But the cast members who blew me away included Taylor Niemeyer in the role of the ingénue, Winnie Tate, and of course Noon, who did the whole show with a twinkle in her eye.

It’s hard to imagine any other actress playing the title role of the sharpshooter’ Oakley, who, in real life was inducted into the cowgirl hall of fame. Fresh from Broadway musical “Wicked,” Noon brought more than simply her famous, powerhouse voice to the mix, which never broke from its rural, Middle America drawl. She simplywas Oakley.

It was a combination of looks, talent, spunk and sense of humor that helped her get it just right. The result was a character you can’t help but adore – a sassy lady who says “tharr” instead of “there” and is such a sure shot, she claims she barely has to aim – and just pulls the trigger.

While nowhere near as experienced as Noon, Niemeyer, fresh from the KIDSTAGE program, was another force who helped carry the show.

From her near-perfect ponche split at the end of the song, “Who Do You Love, I Hope” it’s clear that this young woman is a triple-threat ready to take the regional, or even New York, musical theater world by storm.

These women, and other standout actors, plus the entire spectacle make “Annie Get Your Gun” a welcome relief in winter entertainment from all the holiday offerings.

For more information and tickets, go to http://www.villagetheatre.org/, 303 Front St. N, Issaquah, 425-392-2202.

Gabrielle Nomura can be reached at 425-453-4270.

 




In consideration of how we voice our opinions in the modern world, we’ve closed comments on our websites. We value the opinions of our readers and we encourage you to keep the conversation going.

Please feel free to share your story tips by emailing editor@issaquahreporter.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.issaquahreporter.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) We reserve the right to edit letters, but if you keep yours to 300 words or less, we won’t ask you to shorten it.

More in Life

2021 Toyota Corolla XSE
Car review: 2021 Toyota Corolla XSE

By Larry Lark, contributor Hatchbacks are all about versatility and fun. The… Continue reading

2021 Mazda CX-30 Crossover
Car review: 2021 Mazda CX-30 Crossover

By Larry Lark, contributor The Mazda CX-30 Crossover made its North American… Continue reading

2021 Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport
Car review: 2021 Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport

By Larry Lark, contributor The Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport full-size SUV has… Continue reading

2021 Lexus RC 350 F Sport
Car review: 2021 Lexus RC 350 F Sport

By Larry Lark, contributor The 2021 Lexus RC 350 F Sport is… Continue reading

2021 Chevrolet Trailblazer RS
Car review: 2021 Chevy Trailblazer RS

By Larry Lark, contributor Chevy’s 2021 Trailblazer is an entry-level, compact SUV… Continue reading

2022 Mini Cooper S 2-door. Courtesy photo
Car review: 2022 Mini Cooper S 2-door

By Larry Lark, contributor They don’t come around very often, but when… Continue reading

2022 Infiniti QX60 Autograph
Car review: 2022 Infiniti QX60 Autograph

By Larry Lark, contributor If you want your SUV to make a… Continue reading

2022 Telluride Nightfall Edition
Car review: 2022 Kia Telluride

By Larry Lark, contributor Big, bold and boxy, that’s the newly tweaked… Continue reading

2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee L Overland
Car review: 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee L Overland

By Larry Lark, contributor With almost 30 years and four generations under… Continue reading

2021 Toyota Sienna Platinum hybrid minivan
Car review: 2021 Toyota Sienna Platinum hybrid minivan

By Larry Lark, contributor Minivans. They were at the top of the… Continue reading

2021 Honda Ridgeline AWD Sport
Car review: 2021 Honda Ridgeline AWD Sport

By Larry Lark, contributor Honda’s Ridgeline is the perfect vehicle for anyone… Continue reading