By Diana Hammell
“Calamity Jane” is showing at Caledonia High School March 8 through 10.
The show stars Cara Stemper as “Calamity Jane” and Nick McGraw as “Wild Bill Hickock.” Other key characters are: “Katie Brown” played by Emma Lange and “Lieutenant Danny Gilmartin” played by Evan Privet. Some other cast members are Kalinda Kolek as “Adelaide Adams,” Aaron Goetting as “Francis(es) Fryer,” Joe Petit as “Henry Miller,” and Rebeckah Schroeder as “Susan.” Ingvald Lorentzen plays “Joe” and “Hugh,” Mason Ashbacher “Rattlesnake,” Sam Barton “Doc Pierce,” Nick Loging “Prospector” and “Pete” and Brad Strub is “Hank.” The townswomen are played by Maria Miller, Abby Ashbacher, Hannah Dodson, Emily Johnson, Casey Scanlan, Kerrigan Scanlan and Kourtney Olson.
Lindsay Mackie directs the production, and the orchestra is conducted by Todd Krueger. Choreography is by Trina Scanlan and Sue Stemper.
Stage manager is Julia Jones, rehearsal pianist Ben Goetting, lights Aaron Marshall, sound Jacob Cuda and backstage is Katrina Paulson, Brittany Johnson and Daniel Johnson. Set design and building was done by Matt Mackie, Brad Harguth and students Mike Stemper, Tim Lange and Daniel Johnson. Set painters were Ancy Hellickson and cast and crew.
The show will run March 8 and 9 at 7 p.m. and March 10 at 2 p.m. The cost of admission is $7 for adults and $5 for students. Refreshments will be available during intermission.
Calamity Jane 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. A hilarious comedy, it nevertheless has many tender moments and some very famous numbers, including “Secret Love,” “Black Hills Of Dakota,” “Deadwood Stage” and “Windy City.”
Deadwood City’s two most famous peace officers, Calamity Jane and Wild Bill Hickock, get involved in saving the neck of Henry Miller, the local saloon operator. It seems that “Millie” has been promoting a beautiful actress named Frances Fryer, but Frances turns out to be a boy, Francis. Millie’s attempt to cover up is soon unmasked by the angry miners, and to keep the peace, Calamity sets out for Chicago to bring back the miners’ real heart-throb, Adelaide Adams.
In Chicago, Calamity mistakes Adelaide’s maid, Katie Brown, for the actress and hauls her back to Deadwood. Onstage Katie is greeted warmly, but breaks down and confesses that she is not the famous star. Calamity once more has to restore order and persuades the audience to give Katie a chance. They do, and she wins the heart of every male in town, including Calamity’s dashing love hope, Lt. Danny Gilmartin. Calamity reluctantly overcomes her jealousy over losing Danny and discovers her true love for Wild Bill.