As BAMirror mentioned earlier, acclaimed Wagnerian soprano Deborah Voigt is returning to her first love — Broadway — this summer with performances as Annie Oakley in the Glimmerglass Festival production of “Annie Get Your Gun.” Here are links to an “Annie” review in The New York Times and the whole Cooperstown season at the Web site theperacritic.com. If you’ve seen “Annie” or any other Glimmerglass show this season, please join in the conversation.
August 5, 2011 at 4:07 pm
This is a very nice production. The sets are minimal, but colorful, and are used well, and the staging works very well. Deborah Voigt as Annie was everything the NY Times review said. She has good comic timing, and her spoken lines (antiquated as they are) did not sound forced. I wish there was something/anything that allowed more than just a glimpse of her real abilities and vocal gifts, a few transpositions would NOT have been heresy, but she was completely honest and touching in her portrayal. Local favorite and former TCO star Jake Gardner as Buffalo Bill Cody was, in my opinion, the second best talent on the stage –- natural and unforced -– he’s always been a great singer and actor, and he danced well. Rod Gilfry was adequate as Frank Butler, but not as natural as Voigt and Gardner. I do not agree at all with those critics who claim that he overpowered Ms. Voigt in the duets.
Francesca Zambella, knowing the diverse backgrounds of her cast (grand opera vs. musical theater), wisely kept the tricky staging/dancing simple, but clever enough to disguise any terpsichorean shortcomings for one and all. Performances in secondary roles varied, as there were a number of Equity actors who overdid everything (I could tell which ones were Equity without even looking at the program). The four children (Annie’s sisters and brother) were excellent.
This work, and others like it, will never be as musically or dramatically satisfying as Puccini or Verdi, but I wasn’t expecting that. These iconic older musical theater pieces ARE dated in language, style and music -– I just accept them for what they are and look for good singing, acting and production values. This production delivered that in spades.