Archive for February, 2011

Treat your Valentine on Monday

Valentines Day is upon us y’all, and there are still a few seats left for our special Valentine’s Event at PlazaCo. We’ve SOLD OUT of the tickets for the Dinner & Show part of the evening, but there are still seats available for the performance of Annie Get Your Gun and all the amenities that go with it. Bring your sweetheart on Monday and here’s what you get:

  • A performance of Plaza’s acclaimed production of ANNIE GET YOUR GUN
  • A cheesecake dessert at intermission
  • Dancing after the show
  • A gift for the couple at the end of the evening

You get all this (and the feeling of having done something very special for your special someone) for only $20 a ticket.

Give us a call today at 817-202-0600 to join us at PlazaCo for this year’s Valentine event. You’ll be glad you did.

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The first review is out – ANNIE GET YOUR GUN is a smash!

The first review is out, and ANNIE GET YOUR GUN is already winning praise for being …”a fast-paced kaleidoscope of colorful costumes and familiar songs, delivered with the excellence we’ve come to expect from the Plaza”. We know you’re looking for something to do to get you out of the house and back into the enjoyment of life after this cold winter snap and ANNIE GET YOUR GUN is just the ticket. Read on for a lovely review and then call 817-202-0600 for reservations.

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by PAUL GNADT of The Star Group Newspapers

keenestar@thestargroup.com

Get your family, get your neighbors and get your tickets for “Annie Get Your Gun,” the hootin’ and hollerin’ musical comedy now playing at the Plaza Theatre Company in Cleburne.

What seems like a cast of hundreds is actually about two dozen actors in multiple costume changes, dancing and singing in support of eight featured characters, led by Plaza cofounder, larger-than-life stage presence and booming baritone JaceSon Barrus as Frank Butler, and Daron Cockerell, who brings her excellent voice and high energy to the role of Annie Oakley.

Deserving equal top billing on the marque are the clever props designed by stage manager Milette Siler — watch for a flying trapeze scene under the “big top” — the split-timing dance numbers choreographed by Eddie Floresca, the musical direction of Kristin Spires, and the overall direction of Kyle Macy, last seen as the Rev. Oglethorpe in Plaza’s recent “Smoke on the Mountain, Homecoming.”

While you may not be familiar with the story, you’ve heard the Irving Berlin music and lyrics before, such as “Doing What Comes Naturally,” and “Falling in Love is Wonderful.”

There’s more.

The towering Barrus and average-height Cockerell are a musical and visual delight in “Anything You Can Do I Can Do Better,” and the entire cast offers up a couple of renditions of the show’s signature song, “There’s No Business Like Show Business.”

The action begins in Cincinnati, Ohio, as the womanizing Butler, a sharpshooter in Buffalo Bill’s — played by Plaza cofounder Aaron Siler — Wild West Show challenges all comers to a shooting match.

When the hotel owner objects to the show people taking over his hotel, Butler lets the owner bet $100 on the match.

Enter backwoods-ish Annie, straight from them-thar-hills with three smaller siblings in tow. She shoots a bird off the hat of Dolly Tate, a fussy sour puss played by Kristi Taylor, who does a complete 180 in the second act and wins over a man and the audience, too.

The hotel owner enters Annie in the match against Butler. But before the match starts, Annie meets Butler and is immediately smitten, unaware he is the sharpshooter against whom she will compete.

When Annie asks Butler if he likes her, he replies in song that “The Girl That I Marry” will wear satin and smell like perfume.

Her musical reply is the whimsical realization that “You Can’t Get a Man With a Gun.”

When Annie wins the contest, Buffalo Bill and show manager Charlie Davenport (played by Jay Lewis), ask Annie to join the show.

Seizing the opportunity to be with Butler, Annie agrees to join the show, at which point the cast seizes the opportunity to tell us again why “There’s No Business Like Show Business.”

As the show travels around the country, Butler begins to have the same feelings for Annie that she has for him, his huge ego realizing that she is not only a great shot but also a good person.

When the show arrives in Minneapolis, Minn., Buffalo Bill and Davenport learn that their main rival, Pawnee Bill’s Far East Show, is also in town. They design a special shooting trick for Annie to attract customers away from Pawnee Bill, but tell Annie to keep the trick a secret from Butler and spring it on him as a surprise.

Butler plans to propose to Annie after the show, but when Annie performs the special trick, shooting from the cleverly designed trapeze, Butler’s ego is shattered and he leaves the show to join Pawnee Bill.

Meanwhile, Chief Sitting Bull, who travels with Buffalo Bill’s show, adopts Annie into the Sioux tribe.

The plight of the Native American is a subplot throughout the show. Sitting Bull, played by A. Solomon Abah Jr., has some funny lines and does a good job.

There’s also some tension when a Buffalo Bill show member who is half-Indian (played by Jonathan Metting) wants to marry an underage white girl (played by Natalie Willingham). Their song and dance rendition of “I’ll Share It All With You,” is an exercise of vocal and athletic enjoyment.

With Butler gone, Annie is now the star. The show tours Europe and Annie is adorned from head to toe with sharpshooting medals presented  her by kings and queens. However, the show is out of money. So, too, is the other show starring Butler, but neither of the rivals is aware of the others financial plight.

When they all meet at a fancy ball — about the sixth costume change for the cast —  Buffalo Bill and Pawnee Bill get the idea to merge the two shows, each thinking the other has the money to make it work.

When they realize both are broke, Annie offers to sell her medals to finance the merger.

Together again, Annie and Butler realize they still love each other and plan to marry until Butler’s ego is again shattered when he sees Annie’s medals.

The wedding and the merger are canceled, but Annie and Butler agree to a final shooting showdown, where Annie purposely misses. When Butler realizes that Annie’s aim is to please him, he also misses the target and the match ends in a tie.

That leads to them tying the knot, merging the two shows and singing their way into the sunset.

Internet research reveals the show is based loosely on the life of Annie Oakley, whose real name was Phoebe Ann Mosey, who from age 12 really did support her mother and siblings as a sharpshooter. She met Francis “Frank” Butler at a shooting match, they married, and traveled with Buffalo Bill’s Wild West show for 16 years. Sitting Bull also traveled with the show and adopted her into his tribe.

While Annie and Butler could shoot, it’s unknown if they could sing.

Barrus and Cockerell can. That, and the fact that this entire Plaza production is a fast-paced kaleidoscope of colorful costumes and familiar songs, delivered with the excellence we’ve come to expect from the Plaza, makes an evening at “Annie Get Your Gun” a barrel of fun.

“Annie Get Your Gun” plays at 7:30 p.m. Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, and 3 p.m. Saturdays through March 12 at the Plaza Theatre Company, 111 S. Main St., in Cleburne.

Tickets — $15 for adults, $13 for seniors age 65 and older, high school and college students, and $12 for children age 12 and younger — are available at the box office or by calling the Plaza at 817-202-0600.

You’re invited to our “The Column Awards Nominations” watching party

Alright all you PlazaCo fans, the time has arrived for this year’s nominees for The Column Awards to be announced. As we did last year, we are holding a “Nominations Watching Party” at The Plaza as the nominations are unveiled. We have no idea if Plaza will receive any nominations, but it should be pretty dramatic finding out. Plaza was on the 1st ballot in 31 categories so it will be fun to see if any of our Production Staff / Performers / Technicians / Designers  make it through to the final round.

The live broadcast of the event will begin this Sunday, February 13th, at 2pm. We will be projecting the live broadcast onto 3 walls at The Plaza so it will be large and comfortable to watch. The theatre will provide light finger foods and cokes, but if you’d like something more, feel free to bring it with you for everyone to enjoy. We are also inviting our friends from Carnegie Players to attend with us as they too have numerous possibilities for nominations from the 1st ballot. Additionally, many of our local friends have the potential of being nominated for their work at other area venues, so it should be an exciting evening all around.

Please arrive at the theatre no later than 1:30 pm as the broadcast begins promptly at 2pm. We’ll socialize, eat, and enjoy the broadcast together.

Please come on out this Sunday afternoon for a unique afternoon at The Plaza.

PlazaCo ~ JTAM

Promotional Video 2 for ANNIE GET YOUR GUN

Here is a second promotional video for ANNIE GET YOUR GUN. This video features interviews with the show’s Production Team of Kyle Macy, Director; Eddie Floresca, Choreographer; and Kristin Spires, Musical Director as well as rehearsal footage and live photos. Enjoy (and reserve to come see the show).

Annie Get Your Gun pix at PlazaCo – Photos by Ginny Rodgers

This past weekend, through all the tribulations of dealing with some fairly severe weather here in North Texas, we were able to succeed in bringing ANNIE GET YOUR GUN to the Plaza stage. And what a wonderful show it is y’all. The cast, crew and production team have accomplished something quite amazing with this production and we are honored to have it on the Plaza stage. On Saturday night, resident Plaza photographer Ginny Rodgers snapped some pix of the show. Here is a sample:

If you haven’t yet reserved your seats, don’t delay. This show promises to be another of Plaza’s smash hits. The phones are ringing off the hook. The Box Office can be reached by calling 817-202-0600 and further information is available by visiting plaza-theatre.com

What a great time to get your votes in for The Column

Alright friends, the deadline for voting in this year’s Column Awards is fast approaching. If you are a Column member and you haven’t yet voted, DON’T DELAY. The deadline is this Friday. Please take a moment to vote – if you don’t you cannot vote in the second round.

Please revisit these few suggestions from us when voting:

  • Be sure to vote before Friday at midnight. Don’t wait,
  • Be sure to vote for the shows, performers, technicians and designers you think best deserve recognition. If it’s for a Plaza show, great. If it’s for another theatre’s deserving show, also great.
  • Be sure to vote fairly. Do not try to manipulate the voting in any way.
  • Absolutely BE SURE to buy tickets and attend the Gala March 14th.

Good luck beating this crazy weather and we look forward to seeing you soon.

JTAM

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