The smash hit production of Calamity Jane will return to Melbourne in December for a two week season at Arts Centre Melbourne, before transferring to The Comedy Theatre for a limited three week season. Currently playing to packed houses at Belvoir St Theatre in Sydney, Calamity Jane has had enormous success with sold out seasons at Hayes Theatre Co where the production first started in 2017, and regional centres in 2018 including Orange, Parramatta, Wollongong and Canberra.
"Having been a Producer for close to 40 years I have seen more shows than I care or dare to remember" said Andrew Kay AM. "Earlier this year I had heard, from friends, great things about Calamity Jane. So I bought a ticket and went along to see for myself. I wasn't disappointed! It's great fun and a refreshing take on a classic story. It also features a star performance from the extraordinarily talented and wonderful Virginia Gay. It is now my pleasure to be able to take Richard Carroll and Neglected Musicals magnificent production to the Comedy Theatre. This is one of the great productions and great performances. You are guaranteed to leave the theatre with a smile on your face and a musical memory that will live with you for a long time".
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.
"I'm utterly thrilled to be riding back into town for an extended return season in Melbourne (will these Calamity Jane horse ridin', whip crackin' references ever get old? No. No they will not. *slaps thigh*)", said Virginia Gay, who stars as Calamity Jane. "We had a wonderful time performing to sold-out crowds in Melbourne, and we are THRILLED to be bringing the Deadwood stage back to the Fairfax, and on to the beautiful atmospheric Comedy Theatre. We're thinking up new treats for the Melbourne season as we speak - if you think you've seen Calam already, think again. We get bigger and better and madder and bolder everywhere we go. It's just the way Calam would want it."
Directed by Richard Carroll, 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. Audiences can even purchase on-stage seating to enter the saloon and be a part of the action!
"Calamity Jane is the gift that keeps on giving. Ever since our relatively modest first season, we've been bowled over by the appetite of more and more audiences to come and spend a night at Deadwood's Golden Garter saloon - and Melbourne audiences in particular have taken this show to their hearts in a spectacular way," said Director and Producer Richard Carroll. "Virginia Gay's performance as Calamity never fails to astonish me - partly because it's different every night. I can't wait to watch her and the rest of this madcap cast take over the specially adapted Comedy Theatre for an extended run in Melbourne."
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 Detectives 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. Christina O'Neil will play Susan / Adelaide Adams
Arts Centre Melbourne 12-23 December 2018
Comedy Theatre Melbourne From 1 January 2019
Production shots credit John McRae