Legendary frontierswoman; notorious daredevil; profane storyteller; unwomanly radical – Calamity Jane is one of the most immediately recognizable figures of the old American West. From the famous 1950s Doris Day movie musical to the HBO series Deadwood, the courageous individuality of Calamity Jane has delighted audiences for decades. With a fierce disregard for gender expectations and cultural limitations that was centuries ahead of her time, there’s no better time to re-visit and re-examine this remarkable woman.
This stripped-back, rough-and-ready reimagining shucks off the buckskin and brings a barrelful of dirt and grit to the classic musical. Directed by Richard Carroll, the production stars Virginia Gay (Channel 7’s All Saints and Winners & Losers) as the magnetic, masculine heroine – joined by a ragtag band of acclaimed comedic actors and musicians who share all the other roles. From the moment they enter the theatre, audiences are immersed in the world of the Golden Garter Saloon – alive with whores, gamblers, and habitual jeopardy – and can expect an unruly and unpredictable ride. This particularly goes for the dozens of audience members seated onstage at saloon tables, who will be a part of the action whenever they least expect it!
Featuring timeless standards such as ‘The Deadwood Stage’, ‘Just Blew In From The Windy City’ ‘Black Hills of Dakota’, and ‘Secret Love’ performed with piano and a grab bag of other instruments, this production injects a unique and raucous sense of spontaneity into the world of musical theatre.