When I was a little girl, Doris Day was a favourite of most people and I remember the feel good factor of songs from this show. I attended the opening night at the Regent with high expectations and looked forward to a little bit of whip cracking .Calamity Jane did not disappoint.
Classics such as The Deadwood Stage and Black Hills of Dakota mean that Jodie Prenger, who plays Calamity, has a lot to live up to but she manages with ease. You may remember her as the winner of the TV show to find Nancy in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s production of Oliver.
She has the brash over the top mannerisms of the unfeminine woman dressed in buck skin who always has to be right in the first act before she softens and shows her feminine side in Act Two. Secret Love was to my mind her best song of the night.
Tom Lister also makes an excellent Wild Bill Hickok and his solo delivery of Higher Than A Hawk on guitar was stunning but all the cast deserve praise as they act, sing and dance their way through this exuberant show and play the music brilliantly as well.
The show itself follows hard, boastful and desperate to impress Calamity as she travels to Chicago to recruit a star, Adelaide Adams, for the Deadwood Stage. Things don’t go too smoothly for Calamity, as everyone in town favours the new girl and she struggles to keep her jealousy and pride in check. Her long standing enemy Wild Bill makes her see sense, and realise her love.
The cast do a great job in between scenes, even managing to turn a piano into a stagecoach at one point. As a theatre production, it is full of energy and fresh. It also proves that some classics are timeless too.
Tickets for Calamity Jane are on sale now and can be purchased at the Box Office, by calling 0844 871 7649 or by visiting www.atgtickets.com/stoke