Lyrics by Paul Francis Webster. Music by Sammy Fain.
Adapted by Ronald Hanmer & Phil Park From the stage play by Charles K. Freeman After the Warner Bros. film Written by James O’Hanlon.
07 Mar – 11 Mar
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.
Recommended for ages 7+. Contains simulated smoking.
Free Talking Point
Calamity Jane - Merrigong Talking Point
Saturday 10 March, 15 mins after the matinee ends.
“Joyously entertaining… Gay is sensational as Calamity. She just about blows the roof off the theatre.” – Sunday Telegraph
“Along with being outstandingly clever, Calamity Jane is gut-bustingly funny and has an extraordinarily generous heart. Crucially, it is blessed with a central performance as fine as any seen on our musical stages since, I don’t know, forever.” – The Australian
“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
“Gay is astonishing in the title role… But on top of that nuanced and intelligent central performance is an irresistible sense of irreverent raucousness that drives the whole production… The results are often sidesplittingly funny.” – Daily Review
"Thanks to a stellar turn from Virginia Gay in the title role, a brilliant no-weak-links supporting cast and inspired, side-splitting direction from Richard Carroll, this tiny jewel of a production hits every note square between the eyes… Virginia Gay turns in a performance the like of which you too rarely see in musical theatre." – Limelight
This production is presented by arrangement with Music Theatre International Australasia Pty Ltd on behalf of MTI Europe.
Image: Virginia Gay. Photo by Marnya Rothe
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Illawarra Performing Arts Centre, IMB Theatre
Pens/Group 8+: $67
Under 30s: $49
Family of 4: $196 (Max 2 Adults)
School Groups 8+: $23
A per transaction fee of $6.95 applies for phone and online bookings.
Wed 7 March, 7.30pm
Thu 8 March, 6.30pm
Fri 9 March, 7.30pm
Sat 10 March, 1.30pm
Sat 10 March, 7.30pm
Sun 11 March, 1.30pm
Sun 11 March, 7.30pm
Thu 8 March, 9.15pm
Sat 10 Mar, 1.30pm
Approx. 2 hr 30 mins (incl. interval)
Tickets On Sale Available Now