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Annie Get Your Gun at Grosse Pointe Theatre: A new take on a classic musical

Grosse Pointe Theatre presents the classic musical, Annie Get Your Gun, music and lyrics by Irving Berlin, book by Herbert and Dorothy Fields.  The show will be performed in the Fries Auditorium of the Grosse Pointe War Memorial, 32 Lake Shore Road , Grosse Pointe Farms . It opens with a 2:00 p.m. matinee on Sunday, November 7. Annie Get Your Gun continues with shows on November 11-13 at 8:00 p.m., November 14 at 2:00 p.m. and November 17-20 at 8:00 p.m. Tickets are $24. Group rates are available. Call 313-881-4004 for tickets or visit the Grosse Pointe Theatre website at http://www.gpt.org for more information. Free tickets are being given away on the Theatre Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/GrossePointeTheatre.

Annie Get Your Gun is a fictionalized story of the life of Annie Oakley (1860-1926), who was a sharpshooter from Ohio , and her husband, Frank Butler. The show was conceived by writer Dorothy Fields as a show to star her friend, Ethel Merman. The 1946 Broadway production was a hit, and the musical had long runs in both New York and London , spawning several revivals, a 1950 film version and television versions. The show’s legacy is the number of well-known songs from the show which, for years, reminded the public of its original belting star.  Audience members will enjoy these musical standards: There’s No Business Like Show Business, Doin’ What Comes Natur’lly, You Can’t Get a Man with a Gun, They Say It’s Wonderful, and Anything You Can Do.

The story of Annie Oakley, as told in the musical is inaccurate, according to an Oakley family descendant, Bess Edwards, who was recently interviewed on the 150th anniversary of Annie Oakley’s birth. Nevertheless, this fantasized tail of the female sharpshooter is a rousing tribute to the traveling “Wild West” shows in which she starred back in the latter part of the 19th Century.

Director Jacqueline Di Sante (of Grosse Pointe) has put a new spin on the show for the Grosse Pointe Theatre production, setting it in a country-western bar, where the patrons reenact the story.

Cast and Crew
The cast features residents of several Metro Detroit communities including:  Deb Dworkin (Clawson) as Annie Oakley, Dennis B. Martell (Livonia) as Frank Butler, Jerry Nehr (Grosse Pointe Woods) as Charlie Davenport, Peter Di Sante, (St. Clair Shores) as Buffalo Bill Cody,     Bill Giovan, (Grosse Pointe) as Chief Sitting Bull, Terri Turpin-Amato (Grosse Pointe Woods) as Dolly, Mike Evans (Grosse Pointe) as Foster Wilson, Dante Bufalini (Harper Woods) as Tommy, Bianca Calisi (Grosse Pointe Park) as Jessie, Kyle Bischoff (Macomb Twp.) as Little Jake. Also in the cast are Tom Woodman, Perry Calisi and Rachelle Blachut (Grosse Pointe Park); Frank “Scott” Davis (Ferndale); Christina Amato, Mike Edick and Stephanie Rinderknecht (Grosse Pointe Woods); and Don and Tracy Bischoff (Macomb Twp.)

Crew members of Annie Get Your Gun include producer Christine Kaiser (Grosse Pointe), technical director Art Thompson,  (Grosse Pointe Park), music director John Dickinson (Pleasant Ridge), vocal director Kelly Smith (Eastpointe), Stage manager Marisa J. Di Sante and set dresser Kerry Edick (Grosse Pointe Woods), makeup chair Jackie Pfaff (Chesterfield Twp.), Choreographer Joy Raya, and assistant stage manager Matt Raya (Sterling Heights), sound chair, Ed Thomas (Center Line), properties chair Arlene Marie Schoenherr (St. Clair Shores), special choreographer Donna Miller ( Harper Woods ), set dresser Gretchen Archinal ( Grosse Pointe Park ) and lighting designer Blair Arden (Macomb Twp.)

Grosse Pointe Theatre’s 63rd Season Continues
Following Annie Get Your Gun, Grosse Pointe Theatre will present Relatively Speaking by Alan Ayckbourn, January 16, 20-23, 26-29, 2011; Dixie Swim Club By Jessie Jones, Nicholas Hope and Jamie Wooten, March 6, 10-13, 16-19, 2011; and The Scarlet Pimpernel, based on the works by Baroness Emmuska Orczy, book and lyrics by Nan Knighton, May 8, 12-15, 18-21, 2011.  In addition to the adult offerings, Grosse Pointe Theatre’s Youth on Stage will produce a children’s version of Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, December 11 & 12, 2010.  All shows will be in the Fries Auditorium of the Grosse Pointe War Memorial. GPT will also produce The Exonerated, by Jessica Blank and Erik Jensen, through its Purdon Studio Theatre program, Feb. 18-27, 2011 at the  Edsel & Eleanor Ford House Activity Building , 1100 Lakeshore Road , Grosse Pointe Shores .

For more information about Grosse Pointe Theatre call 313-881-4004 or go to the website at http://www.gpt.org.