Jenn Gambatese, who has played lead roles in the original casts of Broadway’s Tarzan and All Shook Up and recently finished a stint as Rosalie in School of Rock—The Musical, will join the upcoming New York City concert presentation of the musical Calamity Jane, which was originally a movie for Doris Day and a regional stage adaptation for Carol Burnett, but which never made it to Broadway.
Gambatese joins two-time Tony Award nominee Brandon Uranowitz plus Jean Ford and Tally Sessions in two performances, 7 and 9:30 PM January 29, at Feinstein’s/54 Below supper club in New York City.
The 1953 Warner Bros film had a score by Sammy Fain (Broadway’s Hellzapoppin and Disney’s animated Peter Pan) and Paul Francis Webster which included the standard “Secret Love.” It was adapted to the stage (with six added songs) in the early 1960s, and Burnett starred in a 1963 TV adaptation. A 2014 U.K. production of the show starred Jodie Prenger.
Other songs in the score include “Everyone Complains About the Weather,” “Windy City,” and “It’s Harry I’m Planning to Marry.”
Set in the Western town of Deadwood, the show tells the fictionalized story of rambunctious real-life frontierswoman Calamity Jane and her contentious relationship with her partner Wild Bill Hickock. Jane and Bill set off for Chicago to track down a beautiful saloon singer and bring her back to Deadwood.
Gambatese will play the saloon singer, Adelaide Adams. Ford, who has played Christine in the long-running Broadway production of The Phantom of the Opera, and Jellylorum in the recent revival of Cats, will take the feisty, tall-tale-telling title character. Sessions, who has understudied roles in School of Rock and both male leads in the recent War Paint, will play Wild Bill.
Uranowitz, who will play Francis Freyer and was recently seen in Prince of Broadway, has twice been nominated for Tony Awards, for playing the mournful songwriter in An American in Paris, and for playing the psychiatrist Mendel in Falsettos. Sessions also understudied Uranowitz in the latter production.
The four leads will be joined by Christopher Gurr (Cats, Memphis) as the narrator, Tyler Hanes (Cats, A Chorus Line) as Lieutenant Danny Gilmartin, Kara Lindsay (Wicked, Newsies) as Katie Brown, and Michael Park (Dear Evan Hansen) as Henry Miller.
The show's producer, Robert W. Schneider, said, “We are very excited to be bringing this marvelous score to New York audiences. Calamity Jane is a curiosity as it has never been performed on Broadway. Sara is one of Broadway’s most versatile actresses and I am so happy that she, and this amazing cast, are going to be starring in this very special evening at Feinstein’s/54 Below.”
A full production of the show with a different cast is being readied for its New York premiere Off-Off-Broadway at the Lion Theatre March 13–25.
Feinstein’s/54 Below is located at 254 West 54th Street, beneath Studio 54, in Manhattan. Tickets, which cost $35 to $75 (plus a $25 food/drink minimum), can be ordered here. Tickets on the day of performance after 4 PM are available only by calling (646) 476-3551.
Uranowitz has been a special guest performer on Playbill’s Broadway on the High Seas cruises. Tickets are now also on sale for the Broadway on the High Seas June-July 2019 Odyssey Through the Greek Isles, with a lineup of top Broadway stars to be announced. Call Judy Perl Worldwide for tickets at (844) 561-3625.
Visit PlaybillTravel.com for booking and information.