Willcox Lassos London Transfer for Calamity JaneDate: 3 April 2003
The revival of Wild West musical comedy Calamity Jane, starring actress and singer Toyah Willcox (pictured) in the title role, will transfer to the West End this summer. Currently touring to May (See News, 15 Nov 2002), it transfers to London’s Shaftesbury Theatre for a limited season from 19 June to 20 September 2003 (previews 12 June).
Set in the Wild West frontier of pioneering 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.
Calamity Jane had a successful tour in autumn 2002 before launching a second, more extensive UK-wide schedule in January of this year. The production is directed by Ed Curtis and designed by Simon Higlett, with choreography by Craig Revel Horwood, lighting by James Whiteside and musical direction by Adam Goodman.
- by Terri Paddock