Wednesday, June 13, 2012

'There's No Business Like Show Business' on Bellingham Bay

Angela Mills-Watson as "Annie Oakley" and
Paul Niemi as "Frank Butler" in Bellingham Theatre Guild's
Annie Get Your Gun  (Photo: David Cohn)
There really is "No Business Like Show Business," and now's your chance to get to see a great production of Annie Get Your Gun at the Bellingham Theatre Guild in Bellingham, Washington.  It's so seldom that there is an opportunity to tout one of my performance adventures, but since I am currently playing the role of Frank Butler in this production, I am going to risk all blogger credibility and do so.

(L to R) Robert Muzzy, Angela Mills-Watson,
Leon Charbonneau and Paul Henderson in
Annie Get Your Gun at Bellingham Theatre Guild (Photo:
Jeff Braswell)

Annie Get Your Gun is the fictionalized account of the ups and downs in the relationship between famed sharpshooter Annie Oakley and the love of her life and competitor Frank Butler.  In the show, Annie's star rises fast overshadowing Frank's.  The competition causes some great dramatic friction and results in fantastic duets like "Anything You Can Do (I Can Do Better)" and "Wonderful." This classic show, with a score by Irving Berlin is one of the best musicals in the American music theatre songbook.

After a two-year hiatus from the theatre, and seven years away from BTG, I am grateful to have the opportunity to perform with such a terrific cast.  This show has been both an emotional and vocal challenge for me, and I hope that I have stepped up and mastered the task at hand.  Frank Butler is a role for which I never thought I would ever be selected, but I find him somewhat familiar and comfortable in many ways. I'm enjoying him breathing life into me.

The cast also stars Angela Mills-Watson as Annie Oakley, Kathy Peacock as Dolly Tate, Paul Henderson as Charlie Davenport, Leon Charbonneau as Buffalo Bill, Robert Muzzy as Sitting Bull, Brian Watson as Pawnee Bill, Dale Sharp as Tommy and Zoe Schackel as Winnie. There will be times when you can scarcely believe that this is community theatre.  Director Judith Owens-Lancaster has assembled a very talented group of people, most especially the ensemble, whose singing and dancing are a pivotal part of bringing this story to life.

Annie Get Your Gun opens June 15 and continues through July 1 (Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m.). For more information visit For tickets call 360-733-1811.

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