Teen Theater presents ‘Annie Get Your Gun’

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Zachary Carter, left, and Alex Hernandez rehearse a scene from Naugatuck Teen Theater’s production of ‘Annie Get Your Gun’ Monday night at St. Michael’s Church in Naugatuck. Carter is playing Frank Butler and Hernandez is playing Annie Oakley in the musical set against the backdrop of Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show. The show opens 8 p.m. May 4 at St. Michael’s Church Hall. –LUKE MARSHALL
Zachary Carter, left, and Alex Hernandez rehearse a scene from Naugatuck Teen Theater’s production of ‘Annie Get Your Gun’ Monday night at St. Michael’s Church in Naugatuck. Carter is playing Frank Butler and Hernandez is playing Annie Oakley in the musical set against the backdrop of Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show. The show opens 8 p.m. May 4 at St. Michael’s Church Hall. –LUKE MARSHALL

NAUGATUCK — A classic Broadway production is coming to the borough courtesy of the Naugatuck Teen Theater

The theater will present Irving Berlin’s “Annie Get Your Gun” over the next two weekends at St. Michael’s Church.

The show, which opens at 8 p.m. Saturday, is the story of the lives and courtship of Annie Oakley and Frank Butler, both of whom are sharpshooters, during Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show.

“In my opinion this is really the epitome of classic Broadway. It’s a very happy show,” director Dan Wagoner said. “It’s about everything that’s good in life, people falling in love, going off to show business. It’s got some of the most memorable music in the history of Broadway in it.”

The play features the songs “There’s No Business like Show Business” and “Anything You Can Do.”

Wagoner said the play is pretty historically accurate and that all of the main characters are real people.

“The story follows pretty close to what actually happened. In real life Frank and Annie actually got married. They were performers,” Wagoner said.

Naugatuck High School student Alex Hernandez, who plays Annie Oakley, was pleased with how the show has been progressing.

“It’s going fabulous. Just working with the whole crew and the whole cast, we grew together as a family. The environment is just so happy and everybody is always willing to help each other out,” Hernandez said.

Zachary Carter of Naugatuck, who plays the part of Frank Butler, said everybody is working well together in the show.

“Everyone is working really nicely together. We all work good as a whole,” Carter said.

The decision to choose “Annie Get Your Gun” was made by both Wagoner and stage manager and Chairman of the Board of Naugatuck Teen Theater Katherine Ray.

“It’s an American classic. It is appropriate for all ages. The music is absolutely wonderful and you fall in love with the characters,” Ray said.

In addition to being happy with how well the show was coming along, Hernandez, Carter, and Troy Bond of Naugatuck, who plays Buffalo Bill Cody, were all delighted with their characters.

“Frank Butler is arrogance with a smile,” Carter said. “He wants a complete life where show business and women are equal.”

Oakley’s strong spirit often butts up against Butler’s arrogance throughout the show.

“She always expresses how she feels. She’s not afraid to hold back. She’s very prideful and confident in what she does. She’s just a great character to play,” Hernandez said of Oakley.

Bond said that Cody cares about making both his show and all of his performers successful.

“He’s kind of like the uncle of the family. When people mess up he lets them know it, when people are doing a good job he let’s them know it. He cares very much about everybody in the show,” Bond said.

Bond, who produces his own variety show for charity, said he took his experiences from his own life to help him understand his character.

“The frustrations that my character goes through in the show, I understand what he is going through, I can put that into it,” Bond said.

Wagoner said one of the draws of this show is the fact that it is appeals to all ages.

“It’s certainly a show not to be missed,” Wagoner said. “It’s a great show to bring a family to because everybody can appreciate it.”

The Naugatuck Teen Theater’s production of “Annie get Your Gun” opened May 4. The musical will also be presented May 10 and May 11 at 8 p.m. as well as May 11 and May 12 at 2 p.m. at St. Michael’s Parish Hall, 210 Church St. Tickets for the show can be purchased on the theater’s website, www.naugatuckteentheater.org.