Annie Get Your Gun

Music and Lyrics by Irving Berlin
Book by Dorothy Fields and Herbert Fields
Revised by Peter Stone

Directed by John Cramer
April 29 to May 15, 2016


Read the Reviews:
Waukesha Freeman, WaukeshaNOW

Photos:
Click on a photo to see a larger image

Photos By Carroll Studios Of Photography

Volunteer of the Production

Nicole Allee

Sponsored In Part By

WCT projects are supported in part by a grant from the Wisconsin Arts Board with funds from the State of Wisconsin.

Cast 

Madelyn Ballard

Minnie Oakley

Matthew Cornale

Marty, Max

Elena Cramer

Annie Oakley

Jim Donaldson

Charlie Davenport

Ellie Erato

Jessie Oakley

Molly Flanagan

Rising Moon, Martha

Tom Flanagan

Sitting Bull

Ellyan Goeller

Ellyan, Running Deer

Marty Graffenius

Col. William F. Cody, a.k.a. Buffalo Bill

Tod Herdt

Mac, Dr. Ferguson

Erick Juarez

George Stormcloud, Eddie

Diane Kallas

Diane, Black Foot, Mrs. Schuyler Adams

Mitzi Keadle

Mitzi, Sleeping Turtle, Mrs. Henderson

Andrew Kelly

Frank Butler

Ella Kleefisch

Nellie Oakley

Zoë Klett

Winnie Tate

Jenny Kosek

Dolly Tate

Rob Kujawski

Ralph, Randy

Joe Lange

Tommy Keeler

Noah Maguire

Ned, Footman

Jim Mallmann

Foster Wilson, Eagle Feather, Mr. Henderson

Denise Meagher

Denise, Yellow Tail, Mrs. Sylvia Potter-Porter

Megan Miller

Margaret, Mrs. Ferguson

Alyssa Proell

Agatha, Alice

Julia Rady

Lydia Oakley

Ashley Retzlaff

Red Bird, Agnes

Rachel Ryan

Rose, Ruby

Emma Schoultz

Emma, Edith

Nolan Van Haren

Nolan, Nick, Waiter

Kelly Vance

Kelly, Karl, Maj. Gordon Lillie, a.k.a. Pawnee Bill

Jim Volden

Jim, Conductor, Jebediah, Mr. Schuyler Adams

Chance Wall

Jake Oakley

Logan Wroblewski

Little Bear

Production Staff 

Director / Choreographer

John Cramer

Music Director

Anne Van Deusen

Stage Manager

Kelly Goeller

Scenic Designer / Master Carpenter

Michael Talaska

Costume Designer

Laura Hughes

Lighting Designer

Nick Da Via

Sound Designer

Aaron Schmidt

Properties Designer

Susan Schoultz

Wig Master

Anthony Mackie

Assistant Costume Designer

Sharon Sohner

Realtime Music Solutions Programmer

Jon Jones

Run Crew Coordinator

Jim Mallmann

Control Booth Crew

Nicole Allee

Firearms Consultant

Jim Volden

Waukesha Civic Theatre does a spunky 'Annie Get Your Gun'

By JULIE McHALE - TimeOut Theater Critic
May 12, 2016

WAUKESHA - The Waukesha Civic Theatre, under the astute direction of John Cramer, has done it again - produced a musical of sterling quality. "Annie Get Your Gun," by Irving Berlin, was first produced in 1946, and was followed by a film version several years later. It is set in an earlier era when the chief forms of entertainment were the circus and cowboy shows.

Annie Oakley stumbled upon Buffalo Bill quite by accident and before you know it, she was signed up to compete with Frank Butler, the sharpest shooter in the West. She arrived upon the scene with her entourage of brothers and sisters and created quite a stir.

Of course, Annie was poor and inexperienced in the ways of the world, though she was definitely a shrewd survivor. When she first met Frank, she was as enamored with him as he was baffled by her. A lot of the humor derives from their interactions. He had always been a ladies' man with many relationships of short duration, and suddenly he finds himself attracted to this rough-and-tumble woman who can outshoot him besides.

The story proceeds with many obstacles, but eventually all gets solved, happily to be sure. Arriving at that point is an enjoyable journey.

I had forgotten how many good songs this musical contains. The one that has been immortalized is "There's No Business Like Show Business," but "They Say That Falling in Love is Wonderful" is a beauty and still performed today. On the cheerful side, there's the incomparable "I've Got the Sun in the Morning and the Moon at Night" and the slightly risquue "Doin' What Comes Naturally." The spunkiest one, "Anything You Can Do I Can Do Better," captures the competitive tension between Annie and Frank. Frank has quite an ego, and for him to admit that Annie is a better shot than he is is quite the stretch for him.

Elena Cramer, the daughter of the talented couple, Kelli and John Cramer, is a perfect fit for the role of Annie. She looks so much like her mother that I thought Kelli was playing the part. Her voice, her confidence, her whole demeanor exuded the spirit of Annie. Frank Butler, well-rendered by Andrew Kelly, strode around in macho style, being very impressed with himself. It was fun to see that love would eventually bring him down to size.

Musically, the show was beautifully melodic (Anne Van Deusen). Whether it was Annie's family, the head honchos running the show or the whole ensemble - all were well-directed and well-executed.

A couple of other characters that deserve mention are Tom Flanagan as Sitting Bull, Jim Donaldson as Charlie Davenport and Jenny Kosek as the strident sister Dolly Tate. The cast was so huge that I couldn't assign any more individual kudos, but there wasn't a faux pas in the whole company.

Don't miss this one, folks. It's well worth your time.

Review Title

By Reviewer Name
Posted: Month 16, 2012

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Waukesha Civic Theater's 'Annie Get Your Gun' hits the mark

Elena Cramer's Annie captures the sharpshooter's spirit By Marilyn Jozwik - WaukeshaNOW Theater Critic
May 3, 2016

The story of Annie Oakley in "Annie Get Your Gun" is a fictionalized tale of the backwoods sharpshooter from Ohio who became famous traveling in Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show in the 1880s.

The performers I've seen in the role always created a spunky character, handled the music well and were simply entertaining in one of Broadway's classic plum parts. So often, however, the performers cast have been older — such as Broadway's original Annie, Ethel Merman — and Annie's naiveté, youthful pluck and tomboyish nature didn't come through.

Then along comes Waukesha South High School senior Elena Cramer playing the role in Waukesha Civic Theatre's production of "Annie Get Your Gun." Everything about her Annie seems just right, and you almost get the impression that if you talked to her after the show she would punctuate the conversation with "darn" and "shucks" in a hillbilly accent — and maybe challenge you to a shootin' match.

Everything from the confident way she handles a gun to the way her whole body melts when she turns to the handsome face of Frank Butler, the shooting star of Buffalo Bill's show, endears the audience to her character.

The show — with its many familiar Irving Berlin tunes — opens on a set that looks similar to the one used by WCT to open Rodgers and Hammerstein's "Oklahoma" a few years earlier. Both fabulous shows were directed by WCT's artistic director, John Cramer, father of "Annie's" star.

Competitive plot
Rather than the home of Laurie and Aunt Eller, it is the inn of Foster Wilson (Jim Mallmann), who begrudgingly allows Buffalo Bill's show to take place on his property. Annie comes along with her five ragtag siblings, selling all the game Annie has cleanly shot. She soon finds her expertise with a gun lands her in the show — and falls in love with the show's star, Frank Butler (Andrew Kelly).

The two find their romance is strained by their competitiveness to be the best and soon they split. She stays with Buffalo Bill and travels throughout Europe, collecting medals along the way, while he moves on with Pawnee Bill's (Kelly Vance) troupe.

Annie and Frank meet up again at a fancy ball put on by Buffalo Bill in New York, but again their egos get in the way just when it looks like they are ready to kiss and make up.

Just as in "Oklahoma," there is a secondary romance featuring two members of the Wild West show, Winnie Tate (Zoe Klett) and Tommy (Joe Lange).

Cool characters
I never realized just how wonderful and funny Annie's lines are, before Cramer cranked them out like buckshot in this show. When she says, "I can shoot the fuzz off a peach," there's no denying it.

While she's not a belter, like Merman, she has enough moxie and a strong enough voice to pull off rousing tunes like "You Can't Get a Man with a Gun" and "I've Got the Sun in the Morning."

But I especially liked how she got so comfortable and sentimental when she pulled out her guitar to strum while singing tunes like "Moonshine Lullaby," which also featured some nice harmonies with Wild West show manager Charlie (Jim Donaldson), Buffalo Bill (Marty Graffenius), and Tommy, along with the kids in their sleeping car berths in a nicely designed scene.

Kelly's Butler has a lot of swagger, and a silky, pure voice that really works for tunes like "The Girl That I Marry" and "They Say It's Wonderful." I would have liked to have seen him react more to Annie's emotions and body language, which practically explode onstage. The two did have a nice onstage connection to give the love story believability and charm.

Musically, the two were marvelous. Their rendition of the classic "Anything You Can Do" is an absolute gem.

Other key roles were handled flawlessly, including Graffenius' Buffalo Bill and Jenny Kosek's Dolly, Butler's assistant, whose Carol Burnett-like comedy gives her unlikable character lots to jeer at. Tom Flanagan's Sitting Bull was especially surprising, since the character often is just a throwaway with a caricature treatment. Flanagan has a big, stalwart presence and a deep voice, but a soft side and thoughtfulness that give this Sitting Bull dimension.

A few smaller roles also help earn the show high marks. Mallmann has really grown as an actor on the community stage and his Foster and other roles were nicely done on opening night. Another community theater veteran, Denise Meagher, was delightful in her Sylvia Potter-Porter bit. Donaldson's Charlie was really amped up, which is usually a good thing; yet his outbursts ended up measuring about a 12 on a 1-10 scale and could've been ratcheted down a bit.

Movements and music
The big ensemble cast did fine work with some simple, creative choreography in "I've Got the Sun in the Morning," as well as some nice "wheels" in "I'll Share It With You." I also liked Annie, Frank, Charlie and Buffalo Bill's easy flowing movements in front of the curtain for "There's No Business."

Music director Anne Van Deusen did a fine job with all these recognizable tunes. "Props" also to costume designer Laura Hughes and wig master Anthony Mackie, who created some good period looks.

This was perhaps the most well-received show by a WCT audience in recent years. Most every tune was applauded enthusiastically, with a show-ending standing "O."

Most of all, give credit to director John Cramer for continuing to keep alive the icons of America's major contribution to the arts, musical theater.

Student rate is available for children and any patron with a current student ID. Senior rate applies to all patrons 60 years or older. Military rate is available for any patron with a valid current Military ID.

For our "Pay What You Can" performances, patrons can buy tickets for that show on the day of the performance at whatever price their budget will allow.

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10 ticket minimum per performance required.

Educational Group Rate is only available for all educational groups and Boy and Girl Scout troops. 10 ticket minimum per performance required.

Volunteer of the Production - Nicole Allee

Nicole was always happy to help anyone and everyone. Whether assisting with quick changes, pulling curtains, sewing buttons, performing emergency set repair, or managing the backstage flow, Nicole did it all with a smile. The cast said it best: "She's a pillar of infinite help, patience, and graceful shoe repair." "Her assistance has been a key component to the success of this show." "She's a wonderful person. She's caring, funny, and even though she shushes us nonstop, she's amazing."