Calamity Jane

Date 18th April 2018
Society Alyth Musical Society
Venue Alyth Town Hall
Type of Production Musical
Director Gemma Pryde
Musical Director Colin Grant
Choreographer Gemma Pryde


Author: Roger D. Buist

Alyth MS took us back to the Black Hills, Dakota, territory for this year’s show where Claire Mallinson bounded on to the stage as a rooting-tooting, sharp-shooting, Calamity Jane. She had all the right mannerisms required for this role – the swaggering mannish walk, the “I’m always right” attitude, and she made sure everyone knew she was the boss – especially when she drew her gun in her Deadwood Stage number! Then, of course, her character changed to show the seldom seen female side – when she falls in love and where we heard the tender Secret Love! The object of her desire was, originally, Danny Gilmartin but, true love never runs smoothly and she was blind to her real true love – the one and only Wild Bill Hickock. Playing the long-suffering, but understanding Hickock, Gerard Cameron was cool, calm and collected as he tried to control Calamity. His fine voice was heard to great effect in his Higher Than A Hawk. Into the love story arrives one Katie Brown, mistakenly taken for sought-after pin-up stage star singer, Adelaide Adams (Elaine Murray, playing this important cameo role with great feeling). Katie Brown, the stage star’s dresser, was delightfully played by Steph Mackie, perfectly cast as the demure, but frightened dresser, whose aspirations was to become a stage star. Newcomer Robert Oakes made a dashing and handsome Lt. Danny Gilmartin and was extremely confident spurning Calamity’s advances and trying to outdo Hickock’s plans! Comedy is an integral part of this show and Andrew Beckett led the way as the unfortunately-named Francis (with an “i”, not an “e”) Fryer, forced to appear in drag to entertain the Golden Garter clientele with disastrous results! He also showed a nifty pair of feet as he tapped this way through his number. He, too, finds true love with the very understanding Susan (Michelle Kydd Milne). No Alyth show is complete with local “worthy” Ron Kirkpatrick and he popped up as the frenzied Golden Garter owner – Henry Miller. This show has a wonderful musical score and the full company (plus the youngsters) did themselves proud performing it. It is always a sign of a good show you leave it humming at least one of the show’s songs and, with this show, I’ll bet it will always be “Black Hills”!