2005-03-16 / On the Town
Sharpshooting rivals battle on Thousand Oaks stage
By Sylvie and Teza Belmond firstname.lastname@example.org
If you like the adventurous Old West, this musical’s for you.
Cabrillo Musical Theater’s "Annie Get Your Gun" is a comedic love story that will take you back to the Wild West with a few unexpected turns along the way.
Annie Oakley (Katharine McPhee), is a rugged rifle-toting woman who takes on a challenge against proud world champion Frank Butler (Kevin Bailey), and quickly outguns the star shooter of Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show.
Although Butler is astounded that a woman could beat him, show manager Buffalo Bill (Stephen Bishop) sees the potential of this new-found talent. He invites Annie to join his touring company.
And while Annie is determined to win Butler’s affection, it won’t come without several ego wars, battled though song and dance.
The show’s memorable musical score, composed by Irving Berlin, features standards that include "There’s No Business Like Show Business" and "Anything You Can Do."
The actors in this play are skillful singers and dancers in well-choreographed performances.
Katharine McPhee’s portrayal of Annie stands out, and she lights up the stage with her presence. Kevin Bailey is a good fit in role of the stubborn but charming Frank Butler, who won’t easily give up his sharp-shooting supremacy.
Eric Young plays Annie’s little brother, and Tara Baumann and Sofie Thurston play her two young sisters. Other cast members include Noah Rivera, Jaclyn Miller and Sandy Mulvihill.
This Cabrillo presentation is a revised version of the original play, which portrayed stereotypes of women and Indians. In this Buffalo Bill Wild West account, the women definitely don’t stay in their place.
Cabrillo Music Theater is the resident theater company of the Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza; the nonprofit organization is celebrating its 10th anniversary.
This production of "Annie Get Your Gun," which blends Broadway professionals with local talent, is directed and choreographed by James Mellon and produced by Kevin Traxler. Music director and conductor Curtis Rhodes adeptly leads the orchestra, which is out of the pit and on stage during the performance.
The show continues through March 20 at the Civic Arts Plaza, 2100 E. Thousand Oaks Blvd, Thousand Oaks. For general box office information, call (805) 449-2787. Performances are slated for tonight, Friday, Saturday and Sunday.