Want to go?
• WHAT: “Calamity Jane”
• WHEN: 7:30 p.m. April 7-9
• WHERE: Perkins High School, 3714 Campbell St., Sandusky
• COST: $7/ticket
• INFO: 419-625-1252
When you mention Deadwood in the new millennium, invariably most people will think of the former HBO series about the frontier town with its cast of characters ranging from the foul-mouthed Al Swearengen to the, well, foul-mouthed Calamity Jane. It’s the latter who is the focus of the Perkins High School’s spring musical, which takes place April 7 through 9 in the high school auditorium.
But any comparisons between the drama series and “Calamity Jane” the musical end with the fact they both take place in Deadwood, South Dakota in 1876.
“Calamity Jane in the Deadwood series is much truer to fact,” said “Calamity Jane” director and Perkins High School Musical Artistic Director Marilyn Forster. “The Calamity Jane in this production is the bright side of Calamity Jane, not the dark side, and she did have a dark side.”
So the bright side it is in the fun musical “Calamity Jane,” which is based on a 1953 Doris Day movie and details the hard-riding, boastful, no-nonsense woman as she runs her saloon and dates Wild Bill Hickok.
The large Perkins High School production – which requires the help of over 100 students, including 47 in the cast – features plenty of memorable songs, including the Academy Award-winning “Secret Love.”
“It’s never been done in this area and it’s a such fresh, exciting, brilliant-music, fantastic dancing, crowd-pleasing show,” said Forster. “It’s very light-hearted and has a lot of very interesting Old West characters. The costuming is spectacular because one of the scenes takes place at the fort with all of the men in their Calvary uniforms and the women in huge ball gowns with hoops all waltzing.”
Forster said when she first announced the production, the kids in the cast had never heard of the musical. After she instructed them to “Google it,” they were quickly on board.
“It’s really got some interesting perspective on that time, as well as a lot of high energy,” Forster said. “One of the songs is ‘Deadwood Stage,’ and they talk about all of the things that the Stage Coach just brought to them. One is about Chicago called ‘Windy City.’ It’s a case of mistaken identity and lots of plot twists.”
Forster is optimistic unsuspecting audiences won’t be disappointed in the fun, tuneful “Calamity Jane,” which is the sixth Perkins High School musical she’s directed.
She said, “People will come out feeling very, very good with toe-tapping music that they won’t soon forget.”