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'Annie Get Your Gun'

Posted: March 24, 2009 1:45 a.m.
Updated: March 24, 2009 4:55 a.m.

From left to right, Skylar Heinsberg, Jill Young, Alexis Romero, Kate Wisdom, Dennis Atlas, Maya Miranda and Sammy Gebers perform a scene from 'Annie Get Your Gun.'

Opening Night! I put on my western shirt and jeans, as did most of the other actors. We were about to perform the first of three evening showings of "Annie Get Your Gun," a musical taking place in the 1880's. It tells the story of a Wild West Show run by a man named Buffalo Bill and how a young woman named Annie Oakley joins the show and falls in love with their best sharpshooter, Frank Butler. Annie turns out to be a better shot than Frank, which causes some tension between them.

I told my castmates to "break a leg" and I, along with the some of the other actors, rushed to the left wing of the stage.

Mr. Ferrante and Mr. Weisman, our directors, gave a little speech to the audience. Everyone hushed.

Then, the music started. The curtains opened. Frank started to sing, "There's no business like show business, like no business I know ..."

From there, the play seemed to fast-forward. The scenes zoomed past; "Doin' what comes naturally," "Can't get a man with a gun," "First shoot out."

Intermission already! I washed off my faux freckles and put on my "Pullman Car" scene costume.

Then, I rushed to the stage, the curtain opened, Dolly said her line, and time flew again. Before long, I was saying the last line of the play and it was over.

We were happy, yet sad for the performance to end. The next two shows were successful yet they passed quickly.

We got better with each performance as we adjusted to acting in front of an audience. Six months of work, though it seemed more like play, had paid off.

The cast of 20 kids and countless volunteer helpers was like a family. We all laughed and got along. Being a part of "Annie Get Your Gun" was a rewarding experience that I will never forget.


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