Have you ever wondered what would have happened to little orphan Annie had she inherited her family gun and took off to Green Gables, PEI? Me either, but that’s half the fun of original Christmas-time pantomimes.
Annie of Green Gables Get Your Gun opened this past weekend at Kordazone and, as expected, it was insanely whacky, completely idiotic and totally off the hook. With a fairly large ensemble cast, the Tracey B. Atin original creation mashed the popular musical Annie with Canada’s Anne of Green Gables and the Irving Berlin musical Annie Get Your Gun.
We watched on opening night as the little orphan girl transformed from Aileen Quinn’s famous Annie red dress to the Victorian-style dressing and pigtails of Megan Follows’ Anne Shirley to Betty Hutton’s old-west dress, which was complete with poofy shoulders.
Loaded with tons of Canadiana (to celebrate Canada’s 150th), the show is full of over-the-top humour, naughty jokes, some really bad drag and a boat-load of audience participation. This is a show that not only requests the audience to participate, it actually requires it. The more the audience got into the show, the crazier and livelier it seemed to get.
Atin did a great job mixing the three shows together (five if we include the special guest appearance from a possessed moose head and a quirky reference to Oliver Twist). Surprisingly, the cast is mostly made up of children, but the adults were fun to watch, especially Alex Alejandria who literally stole the show as Miss Beginagain with an incredible laugh and awesome drag outfits. Watching Alejandria is worth the price of admission alone.
Emma McDonald was astonishing as Ann (with an e). She carried the majority of the show and appeared in nearly every scene. Somehow, she captured the essence of all three Anne characters and even prompted the audience whenever the participation seemed to lapse a little. Other standouts included a sneezable Clinton Hammond as Cashew Custard and Sixuan Chen and Meredith Garswood as the Japanese tourists looking for Green Gables.
The show even had a live band led by Robert Godden, which provided a hillbilly country soundtrack to the entire production.
It’s 200% silly and loaded with tons of stereotypes, but Annie of Green Gables Get Your Gun is good for some mid-winter escapism.
The show continues this upcoming weekend with evening shows on Thursday, Friday and Saturday (Dec. 14-16) and a matinee show on Sunday (Dec. 17). Tickets range from $10 for students to $40 for families of four. More information can be found at Kordazone.