REVIEW: Calamity Jane, Ipswich Operatic and Dramatic Society, the Ipswich Regent, until April 16
PUBLISHED: 13:59 15 April 2011
THE audience was engaged as soon as the fabulous orchestra, lead by Mike Wren started up with the overture, foot tapping and clapping to the sound of Deadwood Stage.
Up went the curtain and the guys and gals who make up the townsfolk of Deadwood took to the stage full of energy, bright costumes and fun. Then Calamity (Sian Naylor) came on and you knew this lady was a force to be reckoned with with her spot on Wild West accent and superb crystal voice.
It has to be said, both her and Wild Bill Hickok (Martin Leigh) gave rich and resounding performances aptly supported by the other leads Lt Danny Gilmartin and Katie Brown, (Michael Cook and Ellie Watson).
The production had it’s share of comedy in the form of Francis Fryer playing a reluctant cross dresser, excellently acted by Ben Akers and the proprietor of the Golden Saloon Henry Miller (Graham Holland).
There were three generations of us in my group and I really don’t know who had the better time. The youngest loved the ensemble the best when they were high kicking and singing Deadwood Stage and the middle of the group thought the Black Hills of Dakota was the most memorable part.
For me, who unfortunately can remember the original Doris Day version, Calamity singing Secret Love was just superb.
I commend the Ipswich Operatic and Dramatic Society for this production, a whip cracking musical that everyone can enjoy.