Annie Get Your Gun

The many joys of Annie Get Your Gun, the 1946 musical that proved to be Irving Berlin's most successful show, do not—in case anyone was ever worried or wondering—include a thoughtful reflection on its true-life heroine. Annie Oakley was, indeed, an uncommon markswoman who became a sensation in Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show. She could shoot a dime in midair at 90 feet, but she was no coarse hillbilly. And she certainly never threw a shooting match to placate a man. (Quite the opposite: Sharpshooter Frank Butler, the appeased husband-to-be in the show, knew in real life that the ladylike Annie had unbeatable skills with a rifle, so he wisely became her personal manager instead.) Head out to Issaquah's hoping not for biography or even a palatable book—revivals usually go into contortions trying to get around the authors' dated handling of Native Americans—but for the sheer pleasure of a score bursting with the incomparable thrill of unapologetic, Grade-A Broadway boastfulness: "I Got the Sun in the Morning," "Anything You Can Do" and, of course, the industry's anthem, "There's No Business Like Show Business." Annie is no more or less than one of our greatest composers—many say the greatest—putting in song the self-congratulatory spirit of the country and commerce he loved. (Through Dec. 31, then moves to Everett Performing Arts Center through Jan. 29.) STEVE WIECKING

Tuesdays-Sundays. Starts: Nov. 9. Continues through Dec. 31, 2011

 
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