Willcox's Calamity Jane Extends UK Tour in 2003Date: 15 November 2002
The revival of musical comedy Calamity Jane, starring actress and singer Toyah Willcox (pictured) in the title role, will visit 11 more venues in the new year. The production, which completes the first, two-month leg of a national tour this weekend in Birmingham, launches a new schedule on 20 January 2003 in Glasgow before continuing until 3 May.
Set in the Wild West of pioneer America, Calamity Jane is the story of a woman who dresses like a man, totes a gun and drives the Deadwood City stagecoach. Well-meaning but disaster-prone, she tries to help the local saloon proprietor out of a jam by promising to fetch a music-hall star from Chicago.
In 1953, the musical was made into immortalised on the Hollywood screen in a version starring Doris Day as Jane and Howard Keel as her friendly enemy Wild Bill Hickok. Calamity Jane has a book by Charles K Freeman with music by Sammy Fain and lyrics by Paul Francis Webster. Its score includes famous numbers such as "Black Hills of Dakota", "Deadwood Stage", "Windy City" and "Secret Love", which won the Oscar for Best Original Song.
Though best known as a 1980s recording artist with pop hits such as "It's a Mystery" and "I Wanna Be Free", Willcox has frequently appeared on stage in productions including Cabaret, The Taming of the Shrew, Peter Pan and The Shagaround.
She is joined in the cast of Calamity Jane by Alisdair Harvey (as Wild Bill Hickok), Kelly Ryan (Katie Brown), Dustin Durbreuil (Lt Danny Gilmartin), Tony Stansfield (Henry Miller), Helen Harper (Susan) and Phil Ormerod (Francis Fryer).
The new production is directed by Ed Curtis and designed by Simon Higlett, with choreography by Craig Revel Horwood, lighting by James Whiteside, musical direction by Adam Goodman and sound by Autograph.
Following Glasgow, the second leg of the tour continues to Edinburgh, Canterbury, Darlington, Southend, Eastbourne, Leeds, Dartford, Norwich, Nottingham and Liverpool. For further information, call the tour hotline on 020 7395 2606.
- by Terri Paddock