Annie Get Your Gun
Indianapolis Civic Theatre
Directed by Charles Ballinger
Through Sept. 25
The beloved Irving Berlin musical gets an impressive production at the Civic Theatre. The story of Buffalo Bill Cody, Annie Oakley and the Wild West is chock full of classic songs, colorful costuming, fun sets and a leading lady whose voice carries us through the success/love story.
Annie Penny Valentine and Lanonte Kuskye star in Civic's 'Annie Get Your Gun.'
The opening number, "There's No Business Like Show Business," lets us know that this musical will be done right - great choreography, live band, a large cast. Even the prerequisite cute kids number, "Doin' What Comes Natur'lly," is ... cute.
Anne Penny Valentine as Annie can't be outshone. Her voice consistently exhibits good tone as well as the emotion her character is battling with. She is capably challenged by love interest Frank Butler, played by Lanonte Kuskye. Together, they create a very satisfying rendition of "Anything You Can Do."
Other standouts in the show include Robyne J. Ault as Dolly, Kate Rieke as her sister Winnie (she and John O'Brien sing a darling "Who Do You Love, I Hope") and the whole singing and dancing cast.
Kudos need to go to director Charles Ballinger, choreographer Michael Worcel, music director Brent Marty, scenery by James O. Schumacher and costumes by Christopher Arthur.
Annie Get Your Gun continues through Sept. 25 at the Civic, on the campus of Marian College. Tickets are $15-$28. Call 923-4597.
3 Guys Naked from the Waist Down
Directed by Jim Dougherty
The Alley Theatre
Through Sept. 24
You won't get any full-frontal nudity at 3 Guys Naked from the Waist Down, but you will get a few good belly laughs if you appreciate theater of the absurd. Occasionally, I thought my low-grade fever was spiking and I was seeing strange things on stage, but others were there to confirm the time warp.
3 Guys centers on three comedians trying to make it on the comic circuit in the 1980s: Ted, played by Scott Ganyo, who has more than a passing resemblance to Anthony Robbins; Phil, played by Sean Michael Johnson, whose shtick and day-to-day personality are as "the angry guy"; and Kenny, T. Scott Parnell, who is, well, a little touched. The action moves between comedy clubs, discussions between the guys, Hollywood and post-Hollywood, so that we see them climb the ladder, and then slide back down again.
Highlights include Johnson's song "Angry Guy/Lovely Day," in which he recounts shattering a man's kneecaps, and "The American Dream" by all three, a tour of the 1950s to '80s, complete with great costume changes. But insanity really reigns with Parnell's stand-up routine covering everything from a dummy, to shaving his legs, to a monkey, to several dead birds, cat sex and Richard Dreyfuss.
Some scenes don't work as well as others, but you have to appreciate the moments when the guys break out into bizarre dance.
3 Guys Naked from the Waist Down continues through Sept. 24 at the Alley Theatre, 1716 N. Illinois St. Call 926-8888 for tickets, $15.