Fans of musicals will not want to miss Fairmont State University’s production of “Annie Get Your Gun” at the newly remodeled amphitheatre at Prickett’s Fort State Park. The School of Fine Arts Town & Gown Players will present the Irving Berlin classic at 8 p.m. July 14, 15 and 16. Due to popular demand, an additional performance has been added for 8 p.m. July 17. Tickets are $12 each and may be purchased by calling the Box Office at (304) 367-4240.
“Fairmont State University is proud to continue its longstanding partnership with Prickett’s Fort State Park to provide high quality outdoor theatre for residents of North Central West Virginia. Our collaboration results in entertainment for our community and enhances educational opportunities for FSU students. The amphitheatre venue is such a beautiful location, and we congratulate the Pricketts Fort Memorial Foundation on its successful renovation project,” said Peter Lach, Dean of the FSU School of Fine Arts.
The original production of 1946 was conceived to star Ethel Merman and was produced by Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II in their business roles rather than their creative roles. Merman played sharp-shooter Annie Oakley who wins a shooting match with Frank Butler and is asked to join Butler as part of Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show.
There is a clear chemistry between Annie and Frank complicated by the rivalry of who’s a better shot. “Annie Get Your Gun” features such songs as “There’s No Business Like Show Business,” “Anything You Can Do, I Can Do Better,” “You Can’t Get a Man with a Gun” and “The Girl that I Marry.”
There was a major revival of the show in 1966 including some revisions, and more recently the 1999 revival and revision by Peter Stone and starring Bernadette Peters. The revision made “Annie Get Your Gun” a show within a show and changed some of the elements to be more “politically correct.” Most of the original songs were included.
The Town and Gown production will feature Dani DeVito of Clarksburg, a Town and Gown veteran, as Annie Oakley and FSU theatre faculty member Jeffrey Ingman as Frank Butler. DeVito previously appeared in “Seussical the Musical” and “The Sound of Music.” Ingman has served primarily as a director for such productions as “1776,” “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum,” and most recently, “A Grand Night for Singing.”
Dr. John O’Connor, Professor of Theatre, is serving as the director for the production. O’Connor most recently directed “The Good Woman of Setzuan.” Faculty member Troy Snyder is designing the sets.
Also in the cast are Patrick Sibbett of Fairmont as Buffalo Bill Cody, Christie D. Brooks of Fairmont as Dolly Tate, Kaleb Straley of Mt. Clare as Tommy Keeler and Kailee Latocha of Fairmont as Winnie Tate. Troy Snyder of Morgantown appears as Charlie Davenport and Christian Cox of Fairmont is Foster Wilson/Pawnee Bill. Tyler Kovar of Fairmont is Mac, and A. Shawn Dunn of Fairmont will perform the part of Chief Sitting Bull. Leah Michael of Mannington is Jessie, Mary Grace Tillman of Lost Creek is Nellie and Camden Brooks of Fairmont is Little Jake.
The ensemble cast includes Jay Lindsay of Fairmont, Chris Yost of Fairmont, Steven McElroy of Fairmont, John Piscitelli of Fairmont, James Matthews of Fairmont, Mia Rae Gresak of Mt. Clare, Patty Smith of Grafton, Hannah Weakley of Williamsburg, Kathy Dunn of Fairmont, Mary H. Tillman of Lost Creek, Eliza Huff of Harpers Ferry, Celi Oliveto of Fairmont, M. Lanette Six of Fairmont, Leigh Anne Bolyard of Fairmont, Sydney Guy of Bridgeport, Kristine Latocha of Fairmont, Isabella Bowen of Bridgeport and Shannon Yost of Fairmont.