After the enormous success of the sold out season of Calamity Jane at Hayes Theatre Co in March 2017, One Eyed Man Productions in association with Neglected Musicals and Hayes Theatre Co have announced a national tour for 2018.
From the beloved 1953 movie musical with Doris Day, 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.
Featuring timeless standards such as The Deadwood Stage, Windy City, Black Hills of Dakota, and Secret Love, 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 (Side Show, The Show Goes On), the production stars a ragtag band of acclaimed comedic actors and musicians who share all the other roles.
Audiences will be immersed in the world of the Golden Garter Saloon – alive with whores, gamblers, and habitual jeopardy – and can expect an unruly and unpredictable ride. Performed with piano and a grab bag of other instruments, this production injects a raucous spontaneity into a night at the theatre.
Returning as director, Richard Carroll said directing Calamity Jane earlier this year was one of the most fun and joyous experiences of my working life. “It was one of those rare occasions where that fun and joy also infected the audience every night,” said Carroll. “So I couldn’t be more excited to take the show on the road and bring even more audiences through the doors of the Golden Garter saloon.”
Starring Virginia Gay (All Saints, Winners and Losers) as Calamity Jane, this is a bold and unconventional Calamity. “I am rigid with excitement to be back in Calamity’s dusty, dusty shoes,” said Gay. “She is one of my all-time favorite characters, and to get a chance to take her to more people to so she can strut and howl and play and drink with them, all over Australia, goshamighty, we’re gonna have one helluva party up in that Golden Garter.”
Joining Virginia are original cast members Laura Bunting (Rent, Side Show) as the charming Katie Brown, Anthony Gooley (Of Mice and Men, All My Sons) as Wild Bill Hickock, Rob Johnson (Carrie, The Detective’s Handbook) as Francis Fryer, Matthew Pearce (Rent, Rolling Thunder Vietnam) as Lt Danny Gilmartin, and Tony Taylor (As You Like it, The 39 Steps) as Henry Miller. Sheridan Harbridge (Nosferatutu, The Detective’s Handbook) re-joins the cast as Susan / Adelaide Adams at Canberra Theatre Centre and Belvoir.
“Director Richard Carroll’s production is witty, immersive and polished to a rough diamond… It’s not going out on a limb to say Calamity Jane will be among the most fun experiences you’ll have in a theatre this year.” – Sydney Morning Herald
Producer and Director: Richard Carroll Cast includes: Laura Bunting, Virginia Gay, Anthony Gooley, Rob Johnson, Matt Pearce and Tony Taylor Musical Director: Nigel Ubrihien Choreographer: Cameron Mitchell Production Designer: Lauren Peters Lighting Designer: Trent Suidgeest Assistant Director: Dash Kruck Associate Producer: Michelle Guthrie Production Manager: Jack Daniel Woods Company Manager: Cara Woods Stage Manager: Lauren Tulloh
Calamity Jane will play Parramatta’s Riverside Theatres from Wednesday 21 February; Orange Civic Theatre from Wednesday 28 February; Illawarra Performing Arts Centre from Wednesday 7 March; Canberra Theatre Centre from Wednesday 15 August; Belvoir from Thursday 23 August; and Melbourne – to be announced soon.
Image: Tony Taylor, Virginia Gay and Sheridan Harbridge in Calamity Jane – photo by John McRae