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ENC Alum featured in Boston Herald
Published: May 18, 2010
Girl, ‘Gun’ & Glory
Theater assistant thrilled to grab Annie Oakley role
By Lauren Beckham Falcone
By day, she’s a humble assistant. By night, she’s a star.
There’s no business like show business, something Angela Richardson knows firsthand.
The 23-year-old production assistant for Reagle Players in Waltham has gone from Girl Friday to leading lady, scoring the role of Annie Oakley in “Annie Get Your Gun” at Riverside Theatre Works in Hyde Park.
“This is my dream role,” said Richardson, a Burlington native who graduated from Eastern Nazarene College in Quincy in 2008. “I mean, really. The first show I ever saw on Broadway was ‘Annie Get Your Gun’ with Bernadette Peters and Tom Wopat. I was in the last row at the top of the balcony, and I was just transformed. When I saw that cast of 20 people singing ‘There’s No Business Like Show Business,’ I knew I had to be part of it.”
Richardson was 12 at the time. While she had been re-enacting Mary Martin in “Peter Pan” in her living room since she was 4, she got serious about musical theater as a teen, participating in the annual plays at Burlington High School and joining the Reagle Players’ youth theater.
“I had roles in ‘Godspell’ and ‘Seussical,’ and then producer (and Reagle Players founder) Bob Eagle asked me to be in the ensemble of ‘The Music Man,’ ” she said. “I was stunned.”
In college, Richardson had lots of opportunities to hone her craft, but a starring role was elusive.
“Then, during one summer at the Reagle Players, they asked me to help with the costume changes for ‘Crazy for You,’ ” she said. “After that, I started working more behind the scenes, up to production assistant to the producer.”
And so, between bit parts with the Reagle Players, she toiled away in their office in Waltham, waiting for a chance to hang a star on her dressing-room door.
“I’ve always looked for a production of ‘Annie Get Your Gun’ and then, finally, Riverside announced they were holding auditions,” she said. “I’ve been practicing for this role for almost 12 years!”
Richardson, whose run as Annie ends Sunday night, said she’s had enormous fun working at Riverside. (Full disclosure: My sister, Julie Beckham, is the theater’s program director.)
“The education aspect is amazing,” Richardson said. “I’m working with people who have never been in a musical before and with people like David Carney, who has been all over the Boston area. It’s a very special bond. We’re all in this together, fighting for the applause.”
As for the role of Annie Oakley, she’s just happy she got to play it.
“It’s so weird, actually living a dream,” she said. “It’s what you expect up against what is happening. I can’t imagine it ending. Maybe then it will hit me. For now, I just feel incredibly blessed.”