|“There’s No Business Like Show Business” is the big opening number in the Clinton Area Showboat Theatre’s second production of this 2014 season. Annie Get Your Gun , with lyrics and music by Irving Berlin, is a fictionalized story of the life of Annie Oakley, a sharpshooter who starred in Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show, and her romance with Frank Butler. The 1946 Broadway production had long runs in New York and London with later stage and movie versions. The musical includes songs: “You Can’t Get a Man With a Gun”, “Anything You Can Do”, and “They Say It’s Wonderful”.
The role of Annie is brought to life by Heather Baisley who played Peggy in The Taffetas.
Originally from Pine Bush, NY Heather will be a senior musical theatre major at Rider University in New Jersey. Returning to the Showboat for a second season, Nathan McHenry will portray Frank Butler. Nathan just finished his Junior year pursuing a BFA in Musical Theatre from Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee. Hailing from Apex, North Carolina, Nathan most recently performed alongside broadway veterans Chuck Wagner and Mike Eldred in LES MISERABLES at the Schermerhorn Symphony Center in Nashville. Showboat patrons will remember seeing Nathan in Forever Plaid, Godspell and The Sound of Music last summer. Also returning for a second season, Carly Ann Berg, seen as Cheryl in The Taffetas, will play the role of Winnie. Playing Winnie’s love interest, Tommy Keeler, is Daxx Jayroe Wieser, from Washington, DC. Currently a musical theatre student at Oklahoma City University, Daxx appeared as Jafar in the ballet Aladdin with the Washington Ballet (Studio Company and Trainees).
The role of Buffalo Bill is played by Jonesboro, AR native Jalen Lee, a senior BFA musical theatre major at Missouri State University in Springfield, MO. Caleb Jernigan plays Chief Sitting Bull. A newcomer to the Showboat stage, Caleb just completed his second cruise contract working for Norwegian Cruise Line as a singer. Jenna Haimes (Kaye in The Taffetas) a native of Colorado, is Frank Butler’s assistant Dolly Tate.
In addition to the list of talented visiting cast members, a number of local actors are participating in Annie Get Your Gun. Charlie Davenport, general manager of the Wild West Show, is played by Showboat veteran Laurel Decker. Peter Sickels (Scrooge in CAST’s 2013 A Christmas Carol) has the role of Pawnee Bill. Showboat intern Haley Appel, a senior at West Carroll High School, is hotel owner Wilson. Annie Oakley’s young siblings are played by: Kaela Baker (in her fourth year at the Showboat) as Jessie ,
Allison Winkel (a junior at Fulton High School in her sixth summer with CAST) as Nellie and Brennen Bly (a seventh grader from Fulton, IL) as Little Jake. Ensemble actors include: Robert Rice (Sullivan, MO), Jake Hopson (freshman at Iowa State University), Sheila McMinimy (a teacher at Camanche Elementary School), Mary Pirch (CAST’s A Christmas Carol), DJ Guillory (eighth grader at Prince of Peace), Aiden McMinimy (a junior at Camanche High School), Erin Hardigan (a home schooled junior), Savannah Medley (in her second year as an intern), and Emma Van Zuiden (sophomore at Fulton High School).
Annie Get Your Gun is directed by W. Perry Morgan, who was music director and on-stage accompanist for The Taffetas. Zachary D'antonio, Creative Director for ImprovPlayhouse’s Theatre for Young Audiences Program in Chicago, is choreographer.
Musical direction is provided by Matt Bean, a teacher at Western Illinois University who also performs, arranges, directs choir, and stages opera. Scenic Designer for this show is
Adam Spencer who is currently the Technical Director at Louisiana Tech University.
Lighting Designer is Cassie Mings, returning for her second summer at CAST. She has designed in Chicago for such companies as Drury Lane and the Lookinglass Youth Ensemble. Also returning for a second season is Costume Designer Jenna Damberger, who is currently pursuing her M.F.A. in costume design at Boston University.
Stage Manager Nicole Frechette, in her fourth season with CAST, is on the Adjunct Faculty at Rhode Island College. Seth Kieser, a junior at Viterbo University, returns to the Showboat as Assistant Stage Manager.
Annie Get Your Gun opens at the Showboat on June 19 at 7:30pm followed by a reception in the lobby. Performances continue on June 20, 21, 26, 27, 28 at 7:30pm and on June 22, 25, 29 at 3pm. Tickets cost $23, $20 for seniors and $16 for students and children. The CAST box office is open 11am to 4pm on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, 11am to 7pm on Thursdays through Saturdays and noon to 4pm on Sundays. Tickets may also be purchased online at www.clintonshowboat.org or by calling 563-242-6760.
The 2014 CAST season will continue with The Wizard of Oz (July 3-20) , Wonderful Town (July 24-August 2) and Alice in Wonderland (August 8-17) .
There are still openings available in two theatre camps for children entering grades 1 to 8. Camp Oz is Monday through Friday, July 7 to 18 from 9am to noon, costing $85. Camp Wonderland is August 4-13th for just $75. Registration is available on line or at the box office. (Scholarships available).
Every Saturday at noon CAST’s Intern Company offers Theatre for Children. This year’s shows include: A Very Clinton Variety Show, The Beginning of Armadillos, and A Sour Study in Lemonade. Tickets are only $5 and are available at the door.