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Calamity Jane at the Mill [...]; reviews.

Calamity Jane at the Mill Volvo Tyne Theatre until Saturday THE Deadwood stage rolled down Westgate Road and landed at this historic venue in the able hands of the West End Operatic Society.

Sure, it's a period piece, harking back to the time when every boy played cowboys and Indians and Doris Day was the world's most glamorous tomboy.

But this is a show with good songs and a simple but appealing storyline concerning saloon boss Henry Miller's efforts to land big singing star Adelaide Adams to entertain the locals in a one-horse town.

Thanks to Calamity Jane, or "Calam", who's "a little careless with the truth", they get a hapless wannabe, Katie Brown, instead.

With attractive sets, eye-catching costumes (lots of cowboy hats, of course) and a tight little band in the pit, there's a good platform on which the principals can shine.

As Calamity, Katy Bowler spends a lot of time with her hands planted on her hips - when not firing into the air - but there's plenty of personality to shine through and the audience, like Wild Bill Hickock (played by Mark Morris), warms to her.

Louisa Stobbs-Khaw as Katie Brown demonstrates her nice singing voice while David Rawlings, as Henry Miller, brings long experience to bear on this central role.

Amateur companies like this are helping to keep musical theatre not just alive but kicking. Good on 'em.

David Whetstone
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:Apr 26, 2012
Words:233
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