Londonderry children's theater group to put wild West on stage
Ben, 17, of Danville, kicked up his boots and broke into his best Southern drawl as he rehearsed for his role as lead character Frank Butler in the youth theatre troupe’s latest production, “Annie Get Your Gun.”
“I don’t know, accents just come really natural to me,” Ben said as he adjusted his 10-gallon hat. “Sometimes I break into accent at school. It’s embarrassing, but hey I’m an actor and at times, there’s two of me.”
On Sunday afternoon, all 28 of the show’s cast members gathered inside Derry’s Upper Village Hall in preparation for next month’s show.
The musical tells the story of western heroine Annie Oakley: the best shot around who supports her young brother and sister by selling wild game.
Things take a dramatic twist when Buffalo Bill, discovers her and convinces her to join his “Wild West” show. Soon Annie falls for the dashing charms of shooting ace Frank Butler.
Rehearsals for the show began in early September, said producer Lisa Chicko, and now, one month before opening night, the spirit of the wild, wild west is alive and well.
Most of the local cast members are veteran performers.
“I think this has to be my tenth show with Kids Coop,” dancer Sarah Cullinane, 13, of Derry, noted as she swished along in a chartreuse petticoat and stripy, satin gown.
Michael DeRosa, 16, who’s playing the role of Charlie Davenport, said he’s enjoying getting into character of a true boss.
“I get to tell Frank what to do a lot…and I kind of like it,” he laughed. “Being the boss is rather fun.”
For Sammy Honeywell, 13, of Derry, playing the lead role of Annie Oakley definitely has its perks.
“I’m loving the gun,” she grinned.
“Annie Get Your Gun” will be performed Nov. 9 and 10 at the Adams Memorial Opera House in Derry. Performances will take place at 7 p.m. on Friday and Saturday evening and at 1 p.m. on Saturday afternoon.
Tickets are $10 for students and seniors and $12 for adults.
For more information or to reserve tickets visit www.kids-coop-theatre.org.
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