“I saw Calamity Jane on Sunday and I can’t stop thinking about it. It was as perfect a show as I’ve ever seen on our stage. What a cast! I couldn’t add more superlatives without heaping superlatives on superlatives. It was absolutely the most enjoyable theatre experience I’ve had in years.” -B. J. Scott, Founder, Camino Real Playhouse
Unexpected blessings abound! Isn’t it amazing how sometimes the blessings come unasked and unexpected? A phone call came asking if a theater in Orange County, CA could produce my play, Calamity Jane the Musical, which is currently playing at the Camino Real in San Juan Capistrano, CA. Just returned from the opening weekend and they did a great job. By sheer chance, Calamity Jane the Play is being revived at the Plaza Theater in Carpenteria, CA (near Santa Barbara) Oct 17-26.
Three decades ago I wrote the original play – not the Doris Day version. This is the real story of Calamity Jane, Wild Bill Hickok, and Buffalo Bill Cody. The theme is the myth and reality of the Wild West.
Two decades ago, I was approached by Allan Jay Friedman to work with him and Jeff Silbar “Wind Beneath My Wings”) along with lyricists Rand Bishop and Amanda McBroom (“The Rose”) to adapt my play into a musical. It was a wonderful experience and my first experience writing book for a musical.
Now flash forward twenty years and the musical is having its third production and the original play its fifth production.
This weekend sitting in the audience, I felt as though I was seeing the show for the first time and thoroughly enjoyed it. Later I felt grateful that this old play still works in the 21st century. The audience laughed and cried in all the right places and loved the show. Nice when an old play returns & still delights.
Our plays, books, and films are our children. Born in an act of love and yet once they are birthed, you never know how they will turn out years later. It is gratifying to see that they can still live and thrill an audience. Writing indeed has its rewards!
I’m heading down today to Orange County to see the last performance. Seeing something you wrote decades ago incites reflection as to who you are today compared with who you were when you first wrote this play. Not the same person. Couldn’t write this today yet glad it came through when it did. In fact, I look back at all my plays, films & books & feel exactly the same about each and everyone of them. There is no way I could write any of these today. Each project was an expression of who the writer was at that time.
Each day whoever we are dissolves and someone else takes over. Life is now, ever changing, ever new.
And I wouldn’t have it any other way!
Visit www.wayofstory.com to see flyers for both shows. Better yet, go see them! Yippee!
“If you’ve ever been a parent
If you’ve ever had a parent
If you’ve ever loved and lost
You’ll love this show.”
Here’s this week’s review of the musical: Click on:
Sept 26—Oct 12 San Juan Capistrano, CA: Calamity Jane the Musical, www.CaminoRealPlayhouse.org/calamityjane.html#
Oct 17- 26 Carpenteria, CA: Calamity Jane the Play, www.PlazaTheaterCarpenteria.com