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'Annie Get Your Gun' opens Friday

Pictured (front row, left to right) are cast members Camille Budrow, McKenzie Budrow, Magi Blackmon, Brianna Rolling, Angela Brown, Ben Rayne and Josie Armagost. (Middle row) Braden Major-Hanafee, Emily Beirbrauer, Audrey DeKock, Laura Rassier, Walter DeKock, Michaela Jorstad, Stalyon Blackmon, Ashley Sager and Gus Franchere. (Back row) Artistic Director Maddie Weber, Logan Arneson, Jenna Cagle, Robert Bauer, Zach Dodge, Nina DeKock, George Gfall, Emily Coulter and Dayton Dodge.

The Willow River Players production of "Annie Get Your Gun" opens this Friday night for a six-show run at the New Richmond High School Auditorium.

Willow River Players is a non-profit organization that brings live theater to audiences in St. Croix County. Any profits made from shows goes to the Carla Kelley Scholarship fund that makes scholarships available to graduating seniors who will further their education in theater and music.

Started in 1996, the group has produced many musical productions and dinner theater shows. "Annie" showcases a lot of young talent with a summertime show.

Irving Berlin's tale of love in the Wild West is a musical that is based on the real story of American folk heroes, the show incorporates some very well-known songs such as "There's No Business Like Show Business", "You Can't Get A Man With A Gun" and "Anything You Can Do I Can Do Better."

When Buffolo Bill's Wild West Show comes into town, Annie Oakley (played by Laura Rassier from Star Prairie) quickly falls in love with the show's sharpshooter, Frank Butler (Walter DeKock of New Richmond). Annie, an amazing sharpshooter herself, joins the show so she can win Frank.

Unfortunately for Annie, Frank wants a more feminine woman and not a tomboy, gun-toting dame. Further, the fact that she can shoot better than Frank makes her his enemy. In the end, Annie lets Frank win in the sharpshooting contest. As a result, he falls in love with Annie and the two sharpshooters get married.

The show will be Friday and Saturday evenings at 7:30 p.m. Aug. 16, 17, 23, 24 and Sunday matinees at 1:30 p.m. on Aug. 18 and 25. Visit or call 715-246-1028 for ticket information.

Jeff Holmquist
Jeff Holmquist has been managing editor of the New Richmond News since 2004. He holds a bachelor's degree in journalism and business administration from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls. He has previously worked as editor in Wadena, Minn.; Detroit Lakes, Minn.; Hutchinson, Minn.; and Bloomington, Minn. He also was previously owner of the Osceola Sun, Stillwater Courier and Scandia Messenger along with his wife. Together they previously founded and published The Old Times newspaper for antiques and collectibles collectors; and Up!, a Christian magazine of hope and encouragement.
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