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Havre de Grace High School performs classic musical 'Annie Get Your Gun'

It's the tale of famous gunslinger Annie Oakley and fellow sharpshooter Frank Butler. Putting aside their competitive differences, the two fall in love.

"Annie Get Your Gun" first premiered on Broadway in 1946, with a major motion picture in 1950, then two revivals in the '60s and '90s.

Now, the classic musical with timeless songs by Irving Berlin will be performed at Havre de Grace High School.

Performances are 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday, as well as 3 p.m. Sunday. Tickets, purchased at the door, are $10 for adults and $7 for students and senior citizens.

The crew working on the production, including show director David Tramontana, producer Rick Hauf and leads Elise Starkey and Tucker Barnes, has been at it since before Christmas break.

"The kids are working their tails off," Tramontana, the school's choral director, said. "They're devoted to making the show great."

Auditions were held after Thanksgiving and rehearsals began after the holiday break. When Tramontana spoke on Wednesday, they were going through "production week," which includes dress rehearsals and making sure the sound and light equipment are put together and ready.

Tramontana has been the musical director for Havre de Grace High School as long as he's been working at the school — 16 years.

Last year, the students tackled the sci-fi comedy "Little Shop of Horrors." The year before that was "Once on This Island," based on the novel "My Love, My Love."

This time around, the musical theater is making a return to the classics.

"It's one of those shows that you wouldn't know the songs you were hearing came from that show," Tramontana said.

He pointed out that well-known tunes "Anything You Can Do, I Can Do Better" and "There's No Business Like Show Business" originated from "Annie Get Your Gun."

"I think it's really great to give students an opportunity to know these classics," Tramontana explained. "It's timeless music."

This weekend's production will be the first to use the school's new state-of-the-art sound and lighting equipment, a sure treat for anyone filling the auditorium's 998 seats.

Not only will the upgraded gear make the production quality of "Annie" shine, but, as Tramontana explained, it gives the students more "professional experience" with equipment that is used in "real world" Broadway numbers.

Between the singing, dancing and top-notch costumes, Tramontana says the audience should expect a show with a caliber "close to what they would see in the professional theater." Calling the performances "clean" and "professional," he assures fans of "Annie Get Your Gun" that "everything is done as it was done on Broadway."

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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