Aylesbury is in for a treat this week as the wild west rides into town. Although it’s been 70 years since the world premier, the feel-good factor and thigh slapping fun has not faded away in this new production of Irving Berlin’s popular musical Annie Get Your Gun.
It tells the story of Buffalo Bill’s female sharp shooter Annie Oakley (Emma Williams) and her romance with Frank Butler (Jason Donovan), after she joins his popular one man shooting show… soon to be a one woman shooting show. As it turns out the only thing they are shooting for is each other’s hearts!
The leading lady Emma Williams (Annie) is without a doubt the star and talent of the show. You can not help but warm to her character straight away as she’s bursting with enthusiasm, as well as having the perfect facial expressions and voice for the role, with songs like “Doin’ What Comes Natur’lly” and “Anything You Can Do” you’ll find yourself listen to every crisp word, it’s like the songs are written for her; especially when she wowed the audience by holding a note for at least a minute, possibly two.
Jason Donovan is clearly the face of the show, pulling in the women into the audience which was apparent by the applause he got when he appeared on stage. He obviously has the right look to play Frank, a handsome man with confidence and swagger but his performance was in the shadow of Emma Williams and it was disappointing that at times his voice was weak and his accent was wobbly.
Norman Pace (Buffalo Bill), Kara Lane (Dolly Tate), Lorna Want (Winnie Tate), plus all the other cast members and musicians deserve a huge shout out, as combined their performances and colourful costumes shone through and oozed off the well designed stage. The tremendous red and white circus set combined with having the live grand orchestra on stage completed the show perfectly.
If you love musicals, then saddle up and grab your tickets to this one. You’ll be humming “There’s No Business Like Show Business” for days to come. Yee-Haw!