Theatre Mirror Review "Annie Get Your Gun"


"What Happened in Boston, Willie"

entire contents copyright 2014 by Tony Annicone

"Annie Get Your Gun"

Reviewed by Tony Annicone

The second summer show at Steps Off Broadway is Irving Berlin's "Annie Get Your Gun". The story is a fictionalized version of the life of Annie Oakley, a sharpshooter who starred in Buffalo Bill's Wild West and her romance with Frank Butler. The 1946 Broadway production starred Ethel Merman and ran for 1,147 performances. The latest revival starred Bernadette Peters in 1999 with a new libretto by Peter Stone. Director Michael Lafleur, musical director Esther Zabinski and choreographer Keith Mottola obtain stunning performances from the 17 member cast. The show is high energy from start to finish.

Michael blocks the show beautifully while Esther obtains the best vocals from the cast with the glorious Berlin songs. Keith's clever dances are topnotch and the chorus executes the steps wonderfully. Gorgeous red head Stephanie Urko delivers a tour-de-force performance as Annie. She commands the stage in all her scenes. Stephanie's powerhouse voice is heard in many songs including "Doin' What Comes Naturally", "You Cain't Get a Man with a Gun", "Moonshine Lullaby", the poignant "I Got Lost in his Arms" and the big song and dance numbers "I'm An Indian, Too" and "I Got the Sun in the Morning". She also shines in the two love duets with Frank Butler, "They Say It's Wonderful'' when they fall in love and in "An Old Fashioned Wedding" done in perfect counterpoint with each other. Their final duet is the comic "Anything You Can Do" where Annie finally wins the man of her dreams. Brava!

Tall, blond and handsome Johnny Fullerton is wonderful as Frank with his powerful baritone voice which soars to the rafters. His gorgeous ballads include "The Girl That I Marry", the duet "They Say It's Wonderful" and his verse of "An Old Fashioned Wedding". Johnny's uptempo songs include "I'm A Bad, Bad, Man" when he proclaims he is too bad to ever be trapped by a girl, "My Defenses Are Down" when he becomes entranced by Annie and the "Anything You Can Do" duet with her, too. I have seen him grow into a well seasoned actor, having first reviewed him as Jimmy in "Thoroughly Modern Millie" in 2008. Dynamite job by both leading players. The chorus does terrific work in this musical especially in the big dance numbers which will enthrall you with their precision. Two outstanding dancers in the ensemble are Steven Yerardi and Michael Skrzek. So for a trip back to the Wild West and a rollicking good time, be sure to catch "Annie Get Your Gun" at Steps Off Broadway.

"Annie Get Your Gun" (11 - 20 July)
@ 799 South Main Street, BELLINGHAM MA

THE THEATER MIRROR, New England's LIVE Theater Guide