De La Salle Musical Society’s production of the revised Annie Get Your Gun, at the Theatre Royal, was a great family night out, with excellent costumes, a clever set design, some fine cameo performances and a wonderful Annie Oakley. Greta Rochford, as Annie, entertained, impressed and carried the show over many a sticky point of inadequate technical rehearsal, sheer bad luck and opening night glitches. She wooed the audience with girlish innocence as well as beautiful singing and she wowed them with grit, determination, star quality, great charm, exciting moments, wonderful acting and a range of vocal skills that impressed right up to the end. She brought diamonds to complement Aiden McGrath’s warm lighting and she soared over a busy pit under Wayne Brown’s skilful musical direction and she proved the old theatre adage and the opening song of this show – There’s No Business Like Show Business. Greta Rochford gave full value and meaning to that song and continued to underline theatrical truths of Anything You Can Do and her final number with the company – They Say It’s Wonderful. She was wonderful and it was wonderful to be in her presence, like no business I know.
Michael Sands was a fine Frank Butler but not having the old song A Bad Bad Man in the revised production weakens his impact, but Sands shone in The Girl That I Marry and the excellent duet with Annie, Anything You Can Do. It is pat of show business lore that Irving Berlin wrote that song in under fifteen minutes on demand.
Jenny Clooney as Dolly Tate was a revelation and added much to the overall fun and enjoyment. Tobie Hickey turned in a glorious performance, as Chief Sitting Bull and Carrie Baxter impressed as Winnie. Paul Barry, Michael O’Brien, Damien Dixon and Raymond Collins, played other cameo parts.
The three children were wonderful and winsome and so right for the parts. They wereJack McGrath, Sarah Cunningham and Ciara Murphy. Imelda Kirwan was spot on as Mrs. Potter-Porter.
A hardworking but under-directed cast excelled in the stand-out number I Got The Sun In The Morning which was splendidly costumed and choreographed. Avril Musgrave and Elaine Tighe did the costumes. Michelle Condon did the choreography and Mike Leahy designed a clever set to cover at least nine demanding locations and a revolving centre-piece as well.