Guns & Ammo 

The last decades of the 19th century saw a mass exodus of Jews from Russia. They were running away from the tsar and his brutal pogroms and toward America and the promise of freedom and equality. This wave of immigration brought several young talents whose lives would be shaped by the diversity of life in American cities and whose music would define pop music in the first half of the 20th century, including Al Jolson, George Gershwin, Sophie Tucker, and many more. Irving Berlin, the songwriter famous for simple, emotionally direct tunes written in the American vernacular, was one of the Russian immigrants who arrived on Ellis Island. He went on to write more than 1,500 songs ranging from the patriotic anthem "God Bless America" to the sexy "I've Got My Love to Keep Me Warm." Berlin reached his creative apogee in 1948 with his compositions for Herbert and Dorothy Fields' Annie Get Your Gun, a musical loosely based on the life of Wild West sharpshooter Annie Oakley.

Claiming to know almost nothing about "hillbilly music," Berlin played to his strength and transformed Annie Get Your Gun into the ultimate homage to the glitz and glamour of show business. Theatre Memphis' lavish revival of the show takes its cues from Berlin with colorful gowns and eye-popping cowboy duds by resident costume designer Andre Bruce Ward. The cast includes local heavy hitters like Kent Fleshman as marksman Frank Butler and Ashley Bugg Brown as the hilariously annoying Dolly Tate. Kirie Walz brings her big voice and bigger personality to the role of Annie Oakley, a simple, rough-edged country girl determined to get a man with a gun. But musical director Gary Beard and his musicians are the stars of this show. When trumpeter Ben Lewis lets loose with a long jazzy growl, it's hard do disagree with Berlin's musical thesis: There's no business like show business.

"Annie Get Your Gun" is at Theatre Memphis through September 12th. For tickets, Call 682-8323 or visit theatrememphis.org.

Keep the Flyer Free!

Always independent, always free (never a paywall),
the Memphis Flyer is your source for the best in local news and information.

Now we want to expand and enhance our work.
That's why we're asking you to join us as a Frequent Flyer member.

You'll get membership perks (find out more about those here) and help us continue to deliver the independent journalism you've come to expect.


Favorite

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT

The Latest

News Blog

State, County Showing Economic Bounce Back

News Blog

Walter L. Evans Retiring from County Chancery Court

News Blog

New Virus Cases Rise by 377

Hungry Memphis

Earnestine & Hazel's Up For Sale

Film/TV/Etc. Blog

Music Video Monday Blvck Hippie

News Blog

Fall Surge Continues with 407 New Cases

Tiger Blue

2020-21 Tiger Hoops Preview

Tiger Blue

Tigers 56, SFA 14

Hungry Memphis

Flavors of the Delta at King & Union Bar Grocery

ADVERTISEMENT

More by Chris Davis

ADVERTISEMENT
© 1996-2020

Contemporary Media
65 Union, 2nd Floor | Memphis, TN 38103
Visit our other sites: Memphis Magazine | Memphis Parent | Inside Memphis Business
Powered by Foundation