Annie Get
Your Gun


Our 2017 production

Irving Berlin's classic:

At The Mill Theatre, Dormston School, Sedgley
Tuesday 28th February 2017 - Saturday 4th March 2017
Evenings 7:30pm - Saturday Matinee 2:30pm

Rough-and-tumble Annie Oakley is the best shot around. A backwoods gal, Annie uses her skill to support her family by selling the game she hunts. When she’s discovered by Buffalo Bill and persuaded to join his Wild West Show, Annie is plucked from obscurity and becomes the toast of Europe. Annie meets her match in Frank Butler, Buffalo Bill’s leading man and star marksman. She falls head over heels for Frank, but soon eclipses him as the main attraction in the show. Her success with a gun makes trouble for Annie’s chance at romance. Annie Get Your Gun follows the journey of Annie and Frank, revealing their competitive natures as they vie for best shot - and each other’s hearts. This fictionalized version of the life of real-life sharpshooter Annie Oakley and her romance with Frank Butler boasts a score of Irving Berlin gems including “There’s No Business Like Show Business”, “I Got Lost in His Arms”, “I Got the Sun in the Mornin’”, “Anything You Can Do,” and “They Say It’s Wonderful.”

We are proud to bring this show to the Black Country (as an amateur production) by arrangement with R&H Theatricals Europe (www.rnh.com).

Music and Lyrics by IRVING BERLIN


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The heroine is a rough and tumble backwoods girl who is the star of Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show and handy with a rifle. We first meet up with her at Wilson House, a summer hotel on the outskirts of Cincinnati, Ohio. She betrays that she is an uncultivated female who only knows to do that which comes naturally to her ("Doin' What Comes Natur'lly"). She soon meets up with Frank Butler of Pawnee Bill's Show. He is a big, sentimental fellow who is attracted only to sweet and demure girls ("The Girl That I Marry"). Annie finds Frank appealing, but she lacks the gift of getting men to become interested in her ("You Can't Get a Man With a Gun"). But they have one thing in common, show business, and with Buffalo Bill they proceed to sing its praises ("There's No Business Like Show Business").

Six weeks have passed. The scene shifts to a Pullman car of an Overland train speeding to Minneapolis. By now Frank and Annie have begun to manifest an interest in this thing called love ("They Say It's Wonderful"). At the Arena Frank confesses that he has begun to succomb to Annie's vigorous charms ("My Defenses Are Down").

A Wild West Show then takes place within the Arena. The programme includes a Drum Dance, a Ceremonial Chant and Annie appearing as an Indian squaw ("I'm an Indian, Too").

The romance of Annie and Frank, however, encounters difficulties by virtue of the fact that they are rivals, each being a member of a different Wild West company. Annie bemoans the fact that she has been weak enough to fall for Frank ("I Got Lost in His Arms"), and tries finding consolation in the fact that she has a good many things to be happy over, even if love is denied her ("I Got the Sun in the Morning"). But their problems find a near resolution when the two Wild West Shows merge into a single outfit, and Frank and Annie become members of the same company. There is still a good deal of competition between them ("Anything You Can Do"), but the competition is now good-natured.

Annie Get Your Gun was the greatest box-office triumph of Irving Berlin's rich Broadway career; it is his only musical to achieve an initial run of more than one thousand performances. The score is his best and most varied for the theatre, yielding as it does at least hallf a dozen substantial song hits. (One of these, "Show Business", has since become the unofficial anthem of the American theatre.) But brilliant and inventive though were Berlin's melodies and lyrics, his was by no means the only salient contribution to a remarkable production. Mention should also be made of Ethel Merman's compelling and irresistible performance as Annie; Joshua Logan's imaginative staging; and the colourful choreography of Helen Tamiris.

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