Review: A show deserving of its standing ovation
The delightful performance of Calamity Jane on Monday evening deserved its standing ovation, which was accompanied by cheers and whistling from the audience. This was a high octane show, revealing the actors' many talents to great effect and included tremendous energy, song, dance and music.
The set included a stage within a stage which provided a forum for the tremendous performances of Adelaide Adams and her maid Katie and also provided a backdrop to reveal the landscapes of the beautiful hills of South Dakota. A beautiful chandelier made of antlers above the main stage would have befitted any Highland Laird's castle and the subtle changes in stage lighting enhanced the atmosphere of this delightful set.
The show opened and closed with the melody of 'The Black Hills of Dakota' which must have engaged the members of the audience in their own delightful reveries with its beauty. In addition to other famous musical numbers the actors showed their tremendous talent by forming their own orchestra which included brass, strings, wind instruments, banjo, piano – and more - providing a lively accompaniment. Jody Prenger also showed her skill on the spoons!
It was evident from the performance that Jody, who played Calamity Jane, deserved her place as the winner of Andrew Lloyd Webber's talent competition 'Anything Goes'. She brought beauty, comedy, talented acting and dancing in profusion and held the stage with her magnificent presence.
Wild Bill Hickock (played by Tom Lister) was the perfect handsome hero. His serenade with guitar in the second half of the show was one of my personal highlights. The talents of Danny, played by Alex Hammond and Katie, played by Phoebe Street were also very evident. However it has to be emphasised that the entire cast gave a magnificent talented and energetic performance.
The first half of the show sees Calamity Jane; the independent woman struggling to assert her independence in a man’s world, travelling to Chicago in search of the talented dancer Adelaide Adams. She mistakenly returns to Deadwood with Adelaide's maid, Katie Brown, instead, who is in search of her own glory and wins the hearts of all the Deadwood men including Calamity's heart-throb Danny. However Calamity finds true love in the end with Wild Bill Hickock and the unravelling of a double romance and the blossoming of Calamity in the second half of the performance culminate in a wonderful finale.
All in all – a performance not to be missed!
By Carol Whittaker