“There’s no business like show business” as 30 cast and crew members of Troup High School’s production of “Annie, Get Your Gun” are discovering.
The students are preparing for Friday’s opening of the classic musical by Irving Berlin, which features such musical numbers as “You Can’t Get a Man with a Gun,” “Anything You Can Do,” “I Got the Sun in the Morning” and “There’s No Business Like Show Business.”
The musical, a Wild West show-within-a-show that frames the love story of sharpshooters Annie Oakley and Frank Butler, is directed by Carol Cain with musical direction by Bettie Biggs.
“Mrs. Biggs and I wanted to expose our students to a big, old-fashioned musical and who better to begin with than composer Irving Berlin,” Cain said.
“Annie, Get Your Gun,” which opened in May 1946, ran for 1,147 performances, was the third-longest-running musical of the 1940s and was the biggest Broadway hit of Ethel Merman’s career.
“We’re actually producing the updated version revised in 1999 by Peter Stone,” Cain said.
During the Broadway run of this version, the role of Annie Oakley was played by Bernadette Peters, Susan Lucci, Cheryl Ladd and Reba McEntire.
Taking on the challenging role of Oakley in this weekend’s production is Troup High senior Chelse Pike, who goes head to head with Preston Harcey as Frank Butler.
“The role of Annie Oakley is quite a demanding one,” Cain said. “Along with the numerous solos and duets Annie performs, there are lots of lines, dances and stunts to learn.”
Set in Buffalo Bill’s 1888 Wild West Show, the musical features the real-life characters of Buffalo Bill Cody and Chief Sitting Bull, along with an ensemble of cowboys, Indians, dancers, kings, queens and socialites. Accompanying the players is a cowboy band made up of local musicians Eve McKibben, Johnny Hurd and Chris Barnes.
Assisting with the production are choreographer Amy Orr of the Lafayette Dance Academy, costumer Janet Powell and scenic designer Marion Clay Towns.
— ‘Annie, Get Your Gun’ is performed at 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 3 p.m. Sunday in the Troup High School fine arts auditorium. Tickets are $5 for students and $7 for adults. The box office opens 30 minutes before show time.