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at Gordons Outdoor Theater..
presented by the Standing Room Only Theater Company.


Directed by Nancy Tribush Hillman, Musical Direction by Stephen Borsuk, Sets by Mark Carlson and Lighting by Charlie Corl and Brian Keay.

One of several great joys about living in this area is witnessing the talents and creativity of our diverse community. Last night was no different as I and the packed audience enjoyed three hours of being enthralled by the displays of abilities by our friends and neighbors.

ANNIE GET YOUR GUN opened at 8pm at Gordon’s Outdoor Theater in the evening twilight and as night came upon us, the “theater” darkened so the stage lights did their magic. The ensemble of a cast of such different people added to the delight of all.

The demanding role of Annie was flawlessly performed by Lucrecia Longshore. This gal took on and shined her Annie with a demeanor, confidence and wit like a well-fitting glove. Longshore’s expressions were bang-on and her understanding of the character took me back to Betty Hutton’s ‘Annie’ in Loew’s 1950 movie. She is THAT good! Longshore is a natural, developing her talents with each successive performance. One could notice the energy Longshore put into Annie and the fun she had shined through.
Click here for Ethel Merman’s performance, who made famous the song “There’s no business like show business”. Longshore’s enunciation in her songs was exceptional.

Longshore and her capabilities are well-known around here.
Yet, who would pull off Frank Butler next to Longshore’s Annie?
Shannon Russell came on-stage and wowed not only Annie, yet every member of the audience. His commanding singing voice and manner was a perfect match for Longshore’s Annie. Russell’s presence was so perfectly balanced with Longshore’s, that neither of them out-shined nor took away from the other. I noted that Russell’s style as Frank Butler reminded me of Gordon McRae’s Curly in Oklahoma, McRae I personally met in 1975 and still have his autograph.

Bottom Line: The camaraderie that unfolded between Longshore and Russell was displayed with precision in the show-stopper song Anything You Can Do I Can Do Better.

Other standouts that captured the audience, along with a few surprises
– William Christenson was excellent as Charlie Davenport – first time I have seen Christenson on-stage. His easy-going style and personality as Davenport brought alot of laughs. That he took on singing parts is a credit to the diversity of his developing talent!
Nice to see his mother JeanMarie in-audience, a 2nd District Democratic PCO and former LD2 Legislature Rep. candidate.
– Virginia Coverdale, Dave Champagne, Richard Frias, and Livvy Coverdale always delight local audiences and brought their own flavor in supporting roles to this musical, too. The children’s ensemble supporting Annie were precious. Champagne tempered his commanding presence from previous leading roles in not outshining the others when he was on-stage as a supporting character. That shows a unique mastery of the stage he clearly understands.
– Ivan Dixon came to this Yelm setting as Chief Sitting Bull from his Rainier High performance last spring, balancing this serious role with flair. How he kept from bursting out laughing several times was a credit to his focus, for he certainly had the audience in stitches!
– Gordon’s Garden Center owner Kellie Petersen obviously had fun as several characters, with her facial expressions that were priceless. Kudos to her for bringing back the resilience of Gordon’s summer amphitheater with this show. A real bird’s nest was overhead with a doting mother-bird adding to the wonderful stage props, lighting and wardrobes.
– I mentioned surprises – one I will leave for those that attend.
There were several others:
1. Xander Layden had some challenging song and dance numbers that demonstrated the range of his capabilities. Xander previously played many leads in Yelm High School productions, including Little Shop of Horrors and Grease. His singing, dance and sincere countenance added color to the show. Hope to see him in more performances around here.
2. Kayla Geist performed as several leads in her Rainier High School productions, including Once Upon A Mattress, and Twelfth Grade Night. She also played Toni in Cactus Flower for Standing Room Only Theater Company here in Yelm. The talents of Kayla were well-demonstrated in her role as Winnie Tate along with Zander’s refreshing style as Tommy Kielar. Both charged-gears effectively for additional roles, as well.
3. Nice to see Kieren Keeslar back after last Spring’s Rainier High School performance. While he had several fill-in type roles, he will do well as he evolves his stage performances. Several of his large family were in audience, including his sister, father & beautiful grand-parents.
4. First time I have seen Hans Molland on-stage. His several supporting roles and costumes added to the show. He is known to local audiences for his previous Standing Room Only Theater Company’s Cactus Flower performance.
5. I hope to see Ray Harrison return in the future. His characterization of Mr. Wilson and others brought his unique flavor to the show.

Nancy Hillman and her musical Director Stephen Borsuk, who again flew in from New York, took on a difficult task of choreography and song and in one complicated dance sequence, showed how they can mold a “sow’s ear into a silk purse” with such a wide range of people. As Hillman told me after the show, “It’s all in the details, and we get the details.”

One of Hillman’s Drew Harvey Theater performers as a child from years ago returned to this audience last night as a glowing lady, Midnightblue Auld. We reminisced with her during the intermission as we remembered Midnight’s touching additions to many Drew performances.


Get your tickets now and join in the funnin. Remember it’s outdoors, so dress appropriately.

Performance Dates: August 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8

Time: 8pm nightly

Place: Gordons Outdoor Summer Theater, 308 Yelm Ave. East

Cost: All tickets $12.

Ticket Outlets: Gordons Garden Center, Yelm Food Coop, Kendra Gebb Accounting.

For information and reservations: call 446-2188

Posted by Steve on August 6, 2011 at 6:07 am | Permalink

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