There’s no business like show business as the Manx Operatic Society prepare to present Annie Get Your Gun.
The society will perform Peter Stone’s revised version of the classic musical at the Gaiety Theatre from March 18 to 25.
Asked how rehearsals have been, executive committee member Rebecca Ankers said: ‘One word – fun! Our wonderful director, Jeremy Tustin, has included a wide range of styles when setting the energetic dance routines, and the cast have really enjoyed rehearsing these.
‘The routines range from highly stylised, sophisticated ballroom scenes, to hoedown style dances with people galloping across the stage!
‘Seeing the cast come alive with energy when rehearsing these has been lovely to see.’
She added: ‘The show includes lots of well-known songs such as There’s No Business Like Show Business, and Anything You Can Do, I Can Do Better, and these have been rehearsed under the direction of our musical director, Chris Sullivan, who has brought so much fun and enthusiasm to our music rehearsals.
‘He will also be leading a full, 17-piece orchestra to provide the musical accompaniment to the show.’
The committee settled on Annie Get Your Gun as members were keen to perform a good, old-fashioned musical, in contrast to some of the modern shows that have been produced in the island in recent years.
‘During discussions within the committee, Annie Get Your Gun kept coming up and so, it was decided that this is the show for us in 2023,’ Rebecca said.
Peter Stone’s updated version of the show features all of the time-honoured songs that people will recognise and the same storyline as the original.
But Rebecca said that it had a ‘slightly more modern and exciting feel’, being set in a circus.
Annie Oakley, played by Kate Cowley, is a rough and ready country gal with no experience of show business. She is discovered to be a great shooter and becomes involved in the Wild West Show, where her whole world changes.
Frank Butler, played by Daniel-Sebastian Gray, is widely renowned as the best sharpshooter in the world but when he meets Annie Oakley his views, both in shooting and in love, are challenged.
Buffalo Bill Cody, played by Phil Bird, is the owner of the Wild West Show, and helps Annie to learn her way in show business.
Dolly Tate, played by Tracey McCann, is Frank’s glamorous assistant who has little time for Annie.
Chief Sitting Bull, played by Dr John Snelling, is impressed by Annie’s talent and warm personality and decides he wants to be a part of Annie’s life. He supports her in her quest for success, and love.
Winnie Tate, played by Summer Patrick, is one half of a knife-throwing act. Her plans to marry her partner are thwarted by her big sister, Dolly.
Tommy Keeler, played by Magnus Black, is the other half of the knife-throwing act and is determined to not have anything stand in the way of true love.
Charlie Davenport, a great comedic role played by Neil King, helps produce the Wild West Show.
Rebecca said: ‘Annie Get Your Gun is a family friendly, fun show. You can expect entertaining, funny, energetic, romantic and heartfelt scenes all thrown into one great Wild West Show.
‘Our lead cast really brings the true story of Annie Oakley and Frank Butler to life in such a heartfelt way, supported by our fantastic adult ensemble and two teams of children. It’s such an enjoyable show – Get your tickets before it’s too late.’
Performances take place at 7.30pm from March 18 to 25. Matinees take place on Sunday, March 19 and Saturday, March 26.,
Tickets cost £23 for adults, £20 for concessions. Buy them online at www.villagaiety.com, from the box office on 600555 or go to the Welcome Centre at the Sea Terminal.