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Annie Get Your Gun
a Musical Comedy

COMPANY : Holly Theatre [WEBSITE]
VENUE : Holly Theatre [WEBSITE]
ID# 814

SHOWING : July 00, 2004 - August 00, 2004



Dolly Tata Therena Cook
Dolly Tate Therena Cook
Winnie Tate Stephanie Ferguson
Charlie Davenport Rich Grimshaw
Dolly Tate Therena C Migneault
Little Jake Sean Newman
Annie Oakley Colleen Noe
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anything the revival can do, the original can do better
by Okely Dokely
Sunday, August 1, 2004
First off, this is Okely Dokely, in case the theaterreview glitch is still making me "Anonymous."

Colleen Noe is the Artistic Director of the Holly Theater. Colleen Noe plays Annie Oakley in this production. This production was directed by Tim Quigley, who is Colleen Noe's father. I know what some of you might be thinking, and believe me, I thought the same thing for a little while. On the surface, it might look like Daddy played favorites and cast his little girl as the star. I urge all doubters to go up to Dahlonega and see Ms. Noe (and this superb supporting cast) in action. She is as good an Annie as I've ever seen, and I've seen Cathy Rigby play it at the Fox, and have been in this show twice. She has difficulty in the higher part of her vocal range, but her acting is electrifying and dead on. I know her in real life, and that was not Colleen Noe I saw on stage - it was Annie. She completely transformed into Annie. Excellent casting, Tim. Justin Green as Frank Butler gave a very respectable performance. Frank is a role I've had the pleasure of playing before, and I wish I owned a flux copassitor so I could go back in time and use Mr. Green's performance as Cliff Notes. His singing voice is smooth as silk, although he needs to watch his rhythm, as he tends to get ahead of the beat during his solos. May-December onstage romances seem to be a running tradition at the Holly. I think there's at least a decade of age difference between Mr. Green and Ms. Noe, but they played it extremely convincingly. I definitely bought the "couple" thing this time around.

The direction and choreography were great, although "Doin' What Comes Naturally" was a little over-choreographed. Not every syllable needs a movement. It reminded me of the last couple of Bennys I saw in Rent - they moved around in Spastic I'm-constantly-doing-choreography Mode. The dance numbers looked very professionally done, even though I've seen much more complicated choreography before. It furthers my philosophy that if the dancers look like they're enjoying themselves, the level of dancing doesn't matter. Chad Watkins, whose work I previously enjoyed in Red Hot and Cole, once again displays his seamless accompaniment on the piano, and his Music Direction is the best I've heard in a while. The vocals sound amazing.

What I didn't care for, though, was the show itself: the 1999 Broadway revival version, with a drastically different script (including two cute but annoying characters added in), and songs cut out and put in. I did not care for the beginning at all, where Frank came on and sang a dirge-like "There's no business like show business." What is this - Annie Get Your Gun: the Funeral? Several of my favorite songs were cut (Colonel Buffalo Bill, I'm a Bad Bad Man, I'm an Indian Too), and could somebody tell me who died and made Charlie Davenport the narrator? He is a really cool character in the original, but in this, his only solo is cut, and all the spark of the character gets stripped away. He has been reduced to telling us what scene they're setting up for. Is this Our Town? Is he the Stage Manager now?

Overall, though, the Holly can do wonderful things, and this production was slick and professional as could be. I'd give it a 4.5 if possible. I'm looking forward to their next two shows - Noises Off and The 1940's Radio Hour. In the meantime, though, stay away from revivals. [POST A COMMENT REGARDING THIS REVIEW]


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