AOS Calamity Jane programme Autumn 2012


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Show programme for the AOS Autumn 2012 production of Calamity Jane

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abingdon operatic society monday saturday 22nd 27th october 2012 7:30pm amey theatre abingdon school


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back row bethan todd-jones deborah wilde tara hunter lucy bent jo pickering front row lesley donovan tina hood-liles jen woodford lynda teasdale


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abingdon operatic society presents calamity jane lyrics by paul francis webster music by sammy fain adapted by ronald hanmer and phil park from the stage play by charles k freeman after warner bros film written by james o hanlon this amateur production is presented by arrangement with josef weinberger ltd director andrew walter musical director nick planas assistant musical director sue payne choreography katie ward jane birkby please be warned that firearms will be discharged in this production please ensure that all mobile phones are switched off the use of all cameras video and audio equipment is prohibited please note that smoking is not allowed anywhere on abingdon school premises including all outside areas


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message from the chairman another week of excitement begins for abingdon operatic society with our production of calamity jane and a few words from john nye our chairman w elcome to our autumn production calamity jane a show that has more than its fair share of great songs romance and above all comedy it is a delight to welcome once again andrew walter as director as with the pirates of penzance two years ago he is teamed up with musical director nick planas making a welcome return on this occasion nick has been helped in the rehearsal period by assistant musical director sue payne a long-standing member of the society it is also a pleasure to welcome our co-choreographers katie ward making a long-overdue return and jane birkby taking this responsibility for the first time if like me you have somehow not seen calamity jane before then you have a treat in store academy awards for best original songs do not happen by chance and you are entitled to think which of several lovely songs became a worldwide hit in its own right something which is no secret is just like the west end our need for the support of our audiences to make ends meet so whilst being saddened to hear that a former member of our orchestra had passed away without our knowledge we were grateful to him for remembering us with a bequest which helps towards our being able to continue to entertain the audiences of abingdon and its surroundings as we have done for over 50 years we were also recently immensely saddened to hear of the death after a short illness of a much-loved recent director stephanie williams oklahoma and guys and dolls and extend our sympathy toward her family looking ahead to the spring we are proud to say that we shall be bringing another great favourite to the amey theatre stage oliver now let us transport you by stagecoach to deadwood south dakota and be prepared for an evening to remember 3


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director andrew walter we all know that andrew s knowledge of musical theatre is encyclopedic so we asked him to tell us a little about the show s history as well as himself alamity jane is the fifth show that andrew has directed for aos having previously directed kiss me kate 2006 the wizard of oz 2008 the pirates of penzance 2010 and hello dolly 2011 his other directing credits include the sound of music guys and dolls and cabaret as well as many of the gilbert and sullivan operettas for amateur companies in and around oxford the origins of this musical can be traced back to the rivalry between two of the greatest hollywood film studios metro goldwyn mayer and warner brothers mgm had enjoyed great success with their film version of irving berlin s annie get your gun the musical opened in new york in 1946 and the film version with betty hutton and howard keel in the leading roles was produced four years later warner brothers therefore decided to devise their own musical tale of the wild west and calamity jane written by james o hanlon with songs by sammy fain and paul francis webster was released in 1953 howard keel was signed to play wild bill hickok opposite doris day in what many view as the defining role of her distinguished career the stage version of calamity jane premiered in 1961 with several new songs that had not been included in the film version notably `adelaide `men and `love you dearly and it was as recently as 1979 that this version premiered in britain the character of calamity jane was loosely based on a frontierswoman called martha jane cannary who was born in missouri in 1852 it is recorded that she dressed and acted much like a man and that she found work mainly as a pony express rider for the us mail between deadwood and custer calamity went to deadwood with wild bill hickok whom she admired to the point of infatuation although there is no reliable evidence that they were ever romantically involved with each other bill was shot in a gambling saloon in 1876 by the notorious desperado jack broken nose mccall and with calamity s help the murderer was found tried sentenced and hanged in her final years she drifted pathetically from place to place peddling leaflets about her life that were full of exaggeration when she 4 c continued on page 15


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nick planas musical director nick has been a composer conductor performer and teacher of music since 2000 having originally trained to be a professional flautist he has written several major orchestral works two operas and five musicals in the past eighteen months he has premiered several new pieces including a piano concerto an orchestral tone poem `that man may learn to listen and a short operatic monologue marionette nick feels calamity jane is a fabulously entertaining show full of action and humour and some wonderfully catchy tunes he was previously involved with a bicester production of the show but as he was playing saxophone and flute in the pit was unable to see much of the action fortunately the conductor has the best seat in the house and he s pleased to say that there is plenty of time to enjoy the visual and aural feast which is this year s production he hopes you enjoy the show as much as he will sue payne assistant musical director sue won a choral scholarship to royal holloway london university where she studied music she has sung professionally with various choirs including the sixteen the tallis scholars and taverner choir but now spends her time sharing her love of singing with primary school children her two school choirs take part in numerous school community events and competitions sue has been a performing member of abingdon operatic society for many years and has taken principal and chorus roles in recent shows she has enjoyed being rehearsal pianist but she has especially relished the opportunity of being assistant musical director for this aos production of calamity jane 5


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katie ward choreographer oxford born katie has been dancing from the age of three she trained and works at the sally weichardt academy and has attended workshops master classes and seminars with the rambert company idta and is a registered teacher with the royal academy of dance she appeared as a child for aos in 1990 s fiddler on the roof and was assistant choreographer for me my girl in 2001 katie always feels welcome at aos having already choreographed ruddigore in 2002 the mikado in 2005 and my fair lady in 2008 she has thoroughly enjoyed working and doing the `polka with andrew and working with both sue payne and nick planas katie and her husband rob have a two-year-old son oliver and so katie has welcomed the invaluable help and support from jane and has enjoyed plenty of laughs jane birkby choreographer jane joined aos in 2010 to perform in guys and dolls as a hot box girl a role which required nerves of steel as it involved stripping down to just underwear but she hasn t looked back since appearing in aos shows has enabled her to fulfil both her passion for singing and dancing she grew up performing on stage as a child and has mastered all sorts of dancing over the years from tap modern and ballet through to scottish dancing and latin american which prepared her well for the variety of dancing that she has done in the last few shows she says she was honoured and scared when aos asked her to choreograph but it has been made all the easier working alongside katie she feels it has given her a real confidence boost and she has especially enjoyed choreographing the `cancan and `keep it under your hat luckily you ll also see jane with the other dancers in the show tonight look out for her 6


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q&a when and where did you first appear on stage my first experience of the stage was in primary school when i was 11 and took on the role of mary in the nativity play i can still remember being so excited and nervous waiting to go on stage in my blue dress and bare feet mum still has the video and gets it out every now and again do you know where your interest in musical theatre came from after my first stage experience i caught the bug and persuaded mum and dad to let me go to the weekend theatre school stagecoach i was a member for around three years at 15 i joined the musical youth company of oxford before leaving to concentrate on school exams then when i got my first job i took up my hobby again and became a member of aos is your family at all musical my gran has a great passion for music and played piano for many years with the male katie brown kerry callaghan already married eight times in stage shows earlier this year kerry tied the knot for real so we thought it was a good time to tell our audience a little more about one of our regular and most popular principals voice choir on the isle of wight she lives here in abingdon now where i hope she can continue to enjoy her love of music by watching aos shows what was your first big role and where was that i played may in our 2003 production of the hired man and i performed my first solo number with aos there was one line i had to say in a northern accent whichmade people laugh and i still


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everyone was so friendly and made me feel right at home i remember thinking how talented everyone was and what s the favourite part how i was so lucky to have you ve played and why been accepted into the society in 2007 i was lucky enough to play the female lead in our production of the scarlet what s the best thing about pimpernel ­ the very feisty being in aos marguerite it was one of the the people everyone is so most amazing roles with friendly i feel like aos are fantastic songs and costumes part of my extended family it s a show i will never what s the worst forget thing about show week when its over we all talk about postshow blues and i know i definitely suffer from them after our last show crazy for you i had a wedding to finalise and that kept me busy from i m not sure at the the shows you know moment what i ll do to keep what would be your busy this time dream role i d love to play mary do you get nervous before a poppins i think it would performance be a challenging role as the oh i do get terrible nerves character is so diverse ­ from just before i go on stage quirky and wacky to serious honestly my hands shake it would be a great dancing and i can t remember any of part too my words then the moment comes to walk on stage and when did you first join thankfully all the hard work aos from rehearsals pays off and i joined aos in 1999 and my the words and music all come pouring out first show was 42nd street get reminded about today lettuce lovely 8 what s the best thing about being in a show sharing the excitement with everyone involved in putting on a professional production from the front of house team cast crew and all of our loyal supporters it just brings everyone together if you could make a living being on stage would you want to no i m very happy keeping my stage life as a hobby it s something i can enjoy rather than being worried about where the next part will come from what do you do with the rest of your time i recently got married in fact two weeks after crazy for you so i m learning how to be a wife and looking after our two cats watson and leeloo in my day job i m an account manager for a local medical communication agency why do you think more women than men are in musical societies a lot of societies find this to be a challenge i wish i did know the answer to this question but i think it has a lot to do with perceptions i think it is seen as more of a female hobby maybe if andrew lloyd webber could lend us a few of his cast offs from his reality shows we might encourage a few more men to join us!


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principal cast in order of appearance henry miller susan doc pierce wild bill hickok calamity jane rattlesnake joe francis fryer hank pete lt danny gilmartin adelaide adams katie brown colonel fort scully adrian amstead rebecca peberdy alistair cooper rob bertwistle joy skeels mike davies peter willerton stephen west alastair ballard-martin james white iain launchbury kat ballard-martin kerry callaghan phil hughes can can girls lucy bent jane birkby tara hunter rebecca peberdy jo pickering lynda teasdale showgirls lesley donovan tina hood-liles debbie wilde jen woodford chorus alice aldous simon blainey valerie findlay cate franklin john gale stephen hinds rob rees jon ridley amanda robinson tim shipman lorna stevenson bethan todd joyce anne widdup the orchestra violins `cello double bass reeds trumpets trombone keyboard percussion mariette richter leader alison cutting jane dimmick marisa miller jennifer hubble graeme hollingdale harry flint jo thomson joel thomas glyn williams terry mayo mark proven huw james denise evans chris fletcher-campbell


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scenes and musical numbers act i:scene 1 the golden garter deadwood city dakota territory `the deadwood stage calamity and chorus `careless with the truth calamity bill and men `adelaide bill and men `ev ryone complains about the weather fryer `men calamity `the can can dancers `hive full of honey fryer `i can do without you calamity and bill act i:scene 2 the star dressing room bijou theatre chicago `it s harry i m planning to marry adelaide and stage door johnnies reprise `it s harry i m planning to marry katie act i:scene 3 the golden garter again reprise `adelaide men `windy city calamity and chorus `keep it under your hat katie reprise `keep it under your hat katie chorus reprise `careless with the truth chorus a 20 minute interval between acts act ii scene 1 calamity jane s cabin `a woman s touch calamity and katie `higher than a hawk bill act ii:scene 2 a trail through a pass in the black hills `the black hills of dakota chorus act ii:scene 3 fort scully reprise `the black hills of dakota calamity katie bill danny chorus `love you dearly katie danny `finaletto calamity bill act ii:scene 4 the trail again `my secret love calamity reprise `my secret love calamity bill act ii:scene 5 the golden garter reprise `windy city chorus `finale full company


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calamity jane joy skeels after making her directorial debut in the last aos production crazy for you and missing the spotlight joy is very pleased to be back on stage again her first words on hearing the news that she d succeeded in getting the part were reputedly goshamighty after thirty-five lead roles over the years it s not surprising that some shows are repeated so this is joy s third time in calamity jane and second as calamity other favourite roles include eliza in my fair lady polly in crazy for you reno sweeney in anything goes julie in carousel and mabel in both pirates of penzance and broadway pirates away from aos joy takes great pleasure in being mum to three year old joshua and wife to ian who will be on joshua-sitting duties again all this week wild bill hickok rob is very pleased to be appearing again with aos and he s especially pleased to have been given the part of wild bill hickok in this production of calamity jane it s a great role with lots of dry humour and a touch of sarcasm in bill s character but being a rather confirmed and sceptical bachelor will he find true love and if so where he least expects it rob has appeared in many productions and has played many leading and chorus roles over the years for aos his favourite probably being king arthur in camelot back in 1997 rob is also a member of oxford operatic society rob hopes that you will enjoy the show and that all the hard work has paid off all aboard the deadwood stage 11 rob bertwistle


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danny gilmartin iain launchbury iain has been a member of aos for 4 years and this is his 8th show with the society previous roles have included barnaby in hello dolly nicely-nicely johnson in guys and dolls and billy crocker in anything goes before joining aos iain played a variety of roles at hall green little theatre in birmingham including dracula stephen hawking and an addicted gambler the part of danny gilmartin has given him the chance to work once again with some excellent fellow principals and for the first time with andrew nick and sue the rehearsal period has been a delight with plenty of laughs in between the hard work outside of aos iain is trying to fit in some diy around rehearsals having recently purchased a new house francis fryer although this is only his second show with aos stephen has previously performed in a variety of roles with imperial college musical theatre society and imperial opera london and budleigh salterton and tip top productions chester/wrexham he was a chorus member in hello dolly last year and other credits include greylag in honk sir joseph porter in hms pinafore officer crabtree in allo allo and eddie in season s greetings outside aos stephen is a research biophysicist at rutherford appleton laboratory and lives in east hendred stephen webb 12


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henry miller adrian amstead adrian is delighted to return in the guise of henry miller for his 7th show with aos taking part in aos shows couldn t be further removed from adrian s day job as a mechanical engineer designing robot systems and therein lies the attraction to go from the calm of a drawing office to portraying a character on the verge of a nervous breakdown certainly makes life interesting however having played hotel owner lank hawkins in aos s previous show crazy for you and now hotel owner henry miller in calamity jane he has decided not to do any nativities this year to avoid the possibility of typecasting susan after graduating from keele university with a degree in biology and art rebecca moved to abingdon where she discovered aos and has been a member since 2004 previous roles with the society include gloria in the wizard of oz isobel in the pirates of penzance and a hot box girl in guys and dolls most recently she donned her tap shoes to appear as a follies girl in crazy for you she has also performed with societies at university and in her home town of droitwich spa she has very fond memories of performing in calamity jane back in 2003 and hopes that this aos production will be just as much fun when she s not rehearsing rebecca is a keen amateur artist and spends an unhealthy amount of time making greetings cards she also enjoys running and is a tawny owl with a local brownie pack 13 rebecca peberdy


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adelaide adams kat ballard martin aos has been a part of kat s life for many years as her late parents were both performers kat followed them onto the stage and became a member for over ten years calamity jane holds fond memories for her as she played an indian to her late father s wild bill hickok sadly it was the last show she did with him as she left oxfordshire soon afterwards to pursue her career kat returned to aos in 2009 and this will be her sixth show this time around she is looking forward to playing adelaide adams a vaudeville star who behind the scenes is rather selfish and conceited kat will be joined on stage for the first time by her son alistair who will be keeping the family tradition going she knows her parents would be proud as indeed is she doc pierce when alastair joined aos in 2009 he had never appeared in a stage show before he found it a somewhat daunting prospect but the fact that this is his fifth show is evidence of the fact that a he survived to tell the tale and b he enjoyed his first experience and this time he gets to speak a few words on his own overall he is very much looking forward to stepping a little further into the spotlight than previously in calamity jane alistair has found aos to be full of friendly and supportive members including some remarkably talented ones and he believes that the pleasure the society gets in putting on each performance transmits itself to the audience whose enjoyment is in turn heightened during the evening 14 alastair cooper



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