Art Talk Monday

The historical “Wild West” is gathering for four performances of ANNIE GET YOUR GUN, Ruston Community Theatre’s Gale and Lucy Chumley Musical Series at the Dixie Center for the Arts, May 3-6.  The musical is directed by the talented Dee Alexander.  Jane Wallace is the Stage Manager and she is being assisted by Jane Petrus as Back Stage Manager.  The music and lyrics were written by Irving Berlin from a book by Dorothy Fields and her brother Herbert Fields.  The story is a fictionalized version of the life on Annie Oakley (1860-1926), a sharpshooter who starred in Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show. The original Broadway production (1946) starred Ethel Merman and was produced by the Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein team.   There have been a number of revivals with the last being the 1999 Broadway version.   RCT will be producing the 1999 revised version of the play.  This family friendly play is a “feel good” story about determination, skill, and working hard to accomplish your goals.  Karen Pittman, costumer, is busy stitching, designing and collecting the 120+ costumes that will provide a historical flare to transport you back to the days of sharpshooters and buffalo hunters. Linnea Fayard Allen is performing the lead role of Annie Oakley and this is her first experience with Ruston Community Theatre.  Linnea began performing professionally at the age of eighteen and she will bring to the RCT stage her years of professional entertainment experience,   Linnea has performed all over the United States and in Tokyo, Japan and was Miss Louisiana in 1990

Randy Graves plays the part of Frank Butler.  When Annie Oakley is waiting for a shooting match to start, she meets Frank and falls instantly in love.  When she realizes that Frank is her opponent it prompts Annie to sing “You Can’t Get a Man with a Gun”.  Randy is a swimming pool designer and was on stage with RCT last year as “Daddy Warbucks”, in Annie.   Randy said, “I enjoy working with Dee Alexander because he makes it easy to participate and learn your role.  He stated, “the cast of Annie Get Your Gun has been fun to work with and I love the way the play is written and flows.”  In regards to Linnea Fayard Allen he says, “hands down she is incredible...”

Other roles are played by Greg Rupert, Buffalo Bill Cody;  Sandra Powel, Dolly Tate;  Chase Borden, Tommy Keeler; Emma Crawford, Winnie Tate; Rex Yocum, Charlie Davenport;  Wayne Bridges, Foster Wilson and Pawnee Bill; Satish Bharadvaj, Chief Sitting Bull; Bob Milton, Chief Running Deer; Emmett Gibbs, Chief Eagle Feather; Kay Bradford, Band Leader; Geri Taylor, Mrs. Sylvia Potter; Mary Watkins, Mrs. Schuyler Adams;  Connor Little, Dining Car Waiter; Chanley Patterson, Little Jake; Chloe Sue Alexander, Little Jake; Savannah Harpel, Nellie Oakley, Mary Tyler Storms, Jessie Oakley, Evan Morse, Mac; and Ethan Calloway, Sleeping Car Porter.  Other members of the cast make up the Ensemble.

The songs and lyrics are fun and lively.  Some of those that are best known are “Doin’ What Comes Naturally”, “The Girl That I Marry”, “There’s No Business Like Show Business” and “Anything You Can Do.”   The Ruston community is in for a treat and this is a show you don’t want to miss, and with a cast of 43 you sure to see a familiar face.  Show times are Thursday, May 3 – Saturday, May 5 at 7:00 P.M and Sunday, May 6 at 2:00 P.M. at the Dixie Center for the Arts.  Admission is by season ticket or purchased at the door (no reserved seating) $12 adults and seniors and $6 students.