Published: Monday, September 25, 2017 By: Gary Chattman Source: Westchester Arts & Education Review

Now- 11/19/17

They say it’s hard to catch lightning in a bottle, but that’s just what director/choreographer Richard Stafford did at the very special Westchester Broadway Theatre.  He captured this “lightning” in the form of a performer named Devon Perry, who portrays Annie Oakley in WBT’s 202nd theatrical performance, “Annie Get Your Gun.”  Ms. Perry is a dynamo of a performer—a clone of Reba McIntire and Ethel Merman.  Dare I say that her performance here in Elmsford, New York, dwarfs many a star currently appearing on Broadway?  Yup, she obviously is just “Doin’ what Comes Natur’lly.”  Her soul mate for these performances is Adam Kemmerer, whose natural bon vivant personality matches the excellent singing and acting ability of Ms. Perry.  What more could you ask for, only 90 minutes from Broadway? 

The story of Annie Oakley, with the book by the great Herbert and Dorothy Fields, and the music by America’s premier songwriter, Irving Berlin, tells about a backward sharp-shooting girl, Annie Oakley, who joins the Buffalo Bill traveling entourage.  She meets the man of her dreams, Frank Butler.  And, as they say, “There’s No Business Like Show Business.”

 The director/choreographer, Richard Stafford, utilizes this unique stage to give his audience a mixture of tap dancing, whoop-de-whoops, shooting, women’s lib, singing, marvelous acting—and this show is definitely the tops.  Beats most on Broadway.  Seriously.

As usual at WBT, the supporting cast is exceptional: Sarah Cline (as Dolly Tate); Kilty Reidy (as Charlie Davenport); Gary Lynch (as Buffalo Bill) and Kevin C. Loomis) as Pawnee Bill are seasoned, talented performers.  Marshall Factora (as Chief Sitting Bull) steals the stage whenever he appears.  Fortunately, he puts it back!

Kudos to Shane Parus, as Musical Director; Steve Loftus, as Set Designer; Kara Branch (fantastic costumes) and Andrew Gmoser (resident soundman).  They have all done a wonderful job.

You know—it’s hard to find any fault with a production here at the Westchester Broadway Theatre.  If you’re a theatre buff (and even if you aren’t) you can remember when this new theatre opened with “A Chorus Line.”  That groundbreaking show then featured the talents of many of what is now Broadway elite.  Guess what?  The first show of 2018 is—“A Chorus Line.”  Obviously, what the producers do in our county explains “What They Do For Love.”

If you’ve got “The Sun in the Morning and the Moon at Night,”  go to WBT’s “Annie Get Your Gun;”  for “They Say It’s Wonderful,” and so do I!