Virginia Gay says she’s drawn to stories of outsiders, and in musical theatre, few women lie further outside the pale than frontierswoman, professional daredevil and crack shot Calamity Jane.
“She’s a hero of mine,” Gay says. “She’s a feminist icon!”
Gay is the star of this back-to-basics production of the musical Calamity Jane, the 1961 stage musical spun off the 1953 Warner Bros movie musical starring Day and Howard Keel.
“I grew up with the Doris Day movie,” says Gay. “From about the age of five until I was 12, I watched it at least twice a week. I was a real tomboy growing up but I was also bookish. I was wearing pants but I was also frightened of the outdoors. So for me Calamity Jane was my hero. Totally fearless.”
One of the hits of 2017, Calamity Jane deals playfully with Ronald Hanmer and Phil Park’s book, shines up the humour and brings the story of a square-peg heroine into the present without removing her from the Old West.