Annie Get Your Gun Review - Irving Berlin's Wild West

You can’t miss with Irving Berlin. Songs like “Doin’ What Comes Natur’lly,” “The Girl that I Marry,” “You Can’t get a Man with a Gun,” and “There’s no Business like Show Business,” keep you humming and toe tapping all the way through Annie’s adventures with Buffalo Bill and the Wild West. From a book by Dorothy and Herbert Fields set to melody with Berlin’s music and lyrics, you’re in for a treat.

Victoria Strong - Photo by Ashley Cave

First produced in New York City on May 16, 1946, ANNIE GET YOUR GUN starred Ethel Merman and was a resounding success, playing until 1949. In 1950, a screenplay by Sidney Sheldon transformed the Broadway smash hit into a film starring Betty Hutton and Howard Keel which went on to win an Academy Award for best score. 

Andrew Husmann as Frank Butler and Victoria Strong as Annie Oakley - Photo by Ashley Cave

Who was Annie Oakley anyway? She was born in the boondocks of Ohio in 1860, fired her first shot at the age of eight, and by the age of 12 was the chief provider for her family, who sold the game she felled for a pretty penny. Annie would soon become a famous sharpshooter who headlined Buffalo Bill’s Wild West show for years, performing all over the U.S. and Europe. But what about her private life? Even before her days of fame and fortune, Annie crossed paths with sharpshooter Frank Butler at a local gun competition sponsored by Buffalo Bill. At the time, Frank was the star of Buffalo Bill’s show – but Annie won. Buffalo Bill was never a man to ignore talent (and profit potential, for that matter). Soon Annie was part of the show and head over heels in love with Frank. When she overshadowed Frank with her gun prowess, however, things took a turn.

Annie Get Your Gun Cast - Photo by Ashley Cave

ANNIE GET YOUR GUN documents Annie’s rise from simple backwoods girl to the internationally famed wizard of sharpshooters. When Annie (Victoria Strong) meets Frank Butler (Andrew Husmann), the stars shine a little brighter – but the fur also flies as these two very competitive individuals engage in a forever battle over who’s better with the gun. Buffalo Bill (Tom Killam) has the two hottest attractions in town – until Frank decides to pack up his tent and move on when he is bested by a mere female. Even while Chief Sitting Bull (Frank Rodriguez) adopts Annie into the tribe, her sadness over the failed relationship leaves its mark.

Victoria Strong and Frank Rodriguez - Photo by Ashley Cave

ANNIE GET YOUR GUN is a fun evening offering beautiful voices raised in song, courtesy of musical director Steven Applegate, and lots of dancers, choreographed by gifted Paul Reid, weaving and spinning around the small theater-in-the-round stage. This is a musical which will never grow old and has been termed “one of theater’s enduring triumphs.” The cast does a commendable job of bringing ANNIE GET YOUR GUN to life with solid direction by Tim Dietlein, the talents of an enthusiastic and able cast, and the skilled assistance of a great production crew.

Annie Get Your Gun Ensemble - Photo by Ashley Cave

ANNIE GET YOUR GUN runs through July 1, 2017, with performances at 8 p.m. on Fridays and at 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. on Saturdays. Sunday matinees will be presented at 3 p.m. on May 21, May 28, June 4, and June 11. Thursday evening performances have been added at 8 p.m. on May 25 and June 1. The Glendale Centre Theatre is located at 324 N. Orange Street, Glendale, CA 91203. Tickets range from $20 to $32. For information and reservations, call 818-244-8481 or go online

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