Calamity Jane


Calamity Jane

Full-Length Musical, Comedy  /  4w, 4m

Adapted for the stage by Charles K. Freeman
From a screenplay by James O'Hanlon, produced by Warner Bros.
Music by Sammy Fain / Lyrics by Paul Francis Webster
Orchestral & vocal arrangements by Philip J. Lang

Feisty, outspoken, fearless and hilarious, Calamity Jane is a sharpshooter with a heart of gold. This Wild West musical comedy is a sure-fire crowd-pleaser.

Image: 1953 Film Version (© & TM Turner Entertainment Co.)

  • Cast Size
    Cast Size
    4w, 4m
  • Duration
    More than 120 minutes (2 hours)
  • SubGenre
    Adaptations (Stage & Screen)
  • Audience
    Target Audience
    Appropriate for all audiences
  • Winner! 1954 Academy Award for Best Music, Original Song (Sammy Fain and Paul Francis Websterfor "Secret Love")
Calamity Jane


NOTE: Tams-Witmark proudly licenses Calamity Jane in many countries around the globe.

In the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland amateur rights are licensed by Music Theatre International (Europe). 

In the wild-west outpost of Deadwood City, 1876, sharpshooting tomboy Calamity Jane carouses with cowboys, townsfolk, and her arch rival, the famous Wild Bill Hickok. After a mix-up in the talent pool at Deadwood's saloon/theater, Calam goes to Chicago to fetch the glamorous actress Adelaid Adams, but she returns instead with Adelaid's maid, Katie Brown. Katie turns out to be quite a performer herself, and she wins the heart of the young Lieutenant Danny Gilmartin. At the local ball, Calam briefly sheds her tomboy persona and discovers she's in love with Wild Bill Hickok.

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The movie musical Calamity Jane, starring Doris Day as Calamity and Howard Keel as Wild Bill Hickock, opened in 1953, winning an Oscar for Best Song.
This stage adaptation of the movie musical, featuring additional songs by Fain & Webster, premiered at the Municipal Theatre in St. Louis in 1961.

Act I

In the wild and humorous Old West of Deadwood City, Dakota Territory, 1876, sharpshooter Calamity Jane dresses, rides, and shoots like a man. Still, Calamity attracts the romantic attention of dashing Lt. Danny Gilmartin and the famous Wild Bill Hickok. Fuss-budget Henry "Millie" Miller, owner of Deadwood's hotel/bar/theatre, nervously awaits the arrival of a lovely East coast actress named Frances Fryer, whom he has hired to headline his show. Henry's niece, Susan, assures him that Calamity will bring the stagecoach to town on time. Calamity arrives to much fanfare ("Deadwood Stage"). Bill and the men hope Francis will be as glamorous as the East Coast's most alluring star, Adelaid Adams ("Adelaid"), but Millie secretly discovers the "actress" has turned out to be a young man named "Francis" and not "Frances" ("Everyone Complains About The Weather"). Meanwhile, Calamity grows exasperated by everyone's obsession with the opposite sex ("Men!").

The show must go on, and Millie dresses Fryer as a woman. But when Fryer's wig falls off during the act ("A Hive Full of Honey"), the local characters rise in noisy anger. Calam restores order with her trusty pistol and promises that Millie, to make amends, will next feature Adelaid Adams herself. The men are overjoyed, but Will Bill, Lt. Danny, and Millie know full well that Adelaid Adams wouldn't be caught dead in Deadwood.

After a rip-roaring song-battle with her arch rival, Wild Bill ("I Can Do Without You"), Calam storms out and heads for Chicago. She watches Adelaid's show ("'Tis Harry I'm Panning to Marry") then slips backstage, where she mistakes Adelaid's maid, Katie Brown, for the great actress herself. Katie sees this misunderstanding as her big opportunity, so she and Calam stagecoach back to Deadwood, where Katie is greeted as the famed Adelaid Adams. Calam entertains the bar crowd with a colorful account of their experience in Chicago (“Just Blew In From The Windy City”).

That evening, Katie performs her act at the Golden Garter (Reprise: “‘Keep It Under Your Hat”), but when Fryer reveals her true identity, Katie breaks down and loses her way. Calam masterfully takes control of the audience and saves the day; Katie gives a show-stopping performance and wins the hearts of everyone in Deadwood, particularly those of Danny and Wild Bill.

Act II

Katie decides to stay in town and moves in with Calamity. Wild Bill watches them head off to their new home together, and it's clear he's in love ("Higher Than A Hawk"). Katie helps Calamity fix up her cabin ("A Woman's Touch") and they discuss their plans for the upcoming ball. Calamity had hoped to go with LT. Danny, but it's clear that Katie and Lt. Danny are in love ("Love You Dearly"). Unaware of the romance, Calam agrees to go with Wild Bill, hoping to dithc him and win Danny's heart.

The ball begins (“The Black Hills Of Dakota”) and Calam, dressed in Katie's finery, is the belle of the event. But her hour of triumph explodes when she finds Katie with Danny. In a fit of jealous anger she orders Katie to leave town, but Wild Bill corners her and forces her to confront her true feelings. Taking a hard look at herself, Calamity realizes that all along it was Bill and not Danny that she loved ("Secret Love").

The show closes joyously with all of Deadwood's citizens attending a double wedding: Calam to Wild Bill, and Katie to Lt. Danny Gilmartin ("Finale").


Calamity Jane: A young, scrappy sharpshooter of 23. Feisty, stubborn, and prone to telling tall tales, Calamity is also naive, vulnerable and immensely likable.

Wild Bill Hickock: Man of about 35, a handsome figure, professional gambler and ex-peace officer; in love with Calamity but doesn’t know it.

Lt. Danny Gilmartin: Young second lieutenant attached to nearby fort, tall, handsome, the man Calamity dreams about, but who falls in love with:

Katie Brown: A stage-struck young lady of considerable beauty and talent, who, posing as a famous actress, comes West and captures the affection of all men in Deadwood City.

Henry Miller ("Millie"): The erratic fuss-budget who owns and operates Deadwood’s Golden Garter, a hotel/bar/theatre. Millie’s about 50 and always but one jump ahead of a nervous breakdown.

Susan: The young, friendly and pretty niece of Miller who is in charge. She will fall in love with:

Francis Fryer: An Eastern song-and-dance man importer by Miller as an entertainer on the assumption that the “Francis” is a “Frances,” providing worrisome complications.

Adelaid Adams: The theatre star Katie impersonates. A beautiful but affected woman.

Supporting Roles

Rattlesnake: An old, bewhiskered, fossilized stagecoach driver.

“Doc” Pierce: Deadwood’s “improvised” doctor and undertaker — a poker-playing pal of Hickock’s.

Joe: Bartender at The Golden Garter.

Theatre Manager of The Bijou


Indians, prospectors, bullwhackers, bartenders, blacksmith, soldiers, officers, their wives, women of the town, merchants, teamsters, trappers, chorus girls, passersby in Chicago Street scene, etc.

  • Time Period Wild West, 19th Century
  • Setting Deadwood, South Dakota in the 1870s.
  • Features Period Costumes
  • Duration More than 120 minutes (2 hours)
  • Cautions
    • Gun Shots


“Circle the wagons and go! It’s joyous, joyous stuff.” – The Daily Review (Melbourne, Australia)

“Still riding high... Calamity has shot back into town like a blast of fresh air across the dusty Dakota plains.... Full of verve and exuberant energy.” – The Sydney Morning Herald

“Yeeey-haah!... Calamity Jane is full of fun, fabulous music and pistol-packing action!... a tight, funny, and witty script and the songbook is to die for... it is a classic musical that will appeal to young and old, and the songs are some of the best that you will hear in any stage musical.” –City Life (Lichfield, Staffordshire, England)

“A lovingly chaotic cabaret-cum-rom-com... To say that Calamity Jane has arrived, then, is somewhat of an understatement.” – The Guardian

“Still manages to rouse the audience with its rootin’ tootin’ dance routines and songs like ‘Secret Love’ and ‘Just Blew in From the Windy City.’” – Manchester's Finest


  • Calamity Jane The Show Trailer youtube thumbnail

    Calamity Jane The Show Trailer

  • Calamity Jane in Syndey youtube thumbnail

    Calamity Jane in Syndey


  • Calamity Jane

    Image: 1953 Film Version (© & TM Turner Entertainment Co.)

  • Calamity Jane

    Image: 1953 Film Version (© & TM Turner Entertainment Co.)

  • Calamity Jane

    Image: 1953 Film Version (© & TM Turner Entertainment Co.)


Music Samples

Act I
1. Overture – Orchestra
2. Opening Act One, Scene One – Orchestra
3. “Deadwood Stage” – Calamity, Bill, Mitter, & Company
4. “Adelaid” – Bill & Men
5. “Everyone Complains About The Weather” – Fryer
6. “Weather Dance” – Fryer
7. “Men!” – Calamity
8. Opening Act One, Scene Two – Orchestra
9. “Careless With The Truth” – Calamity, Bill, & Men
10. “A Hive Full Of Honey” – Fryer
11. Adelaid Ballet – Orchestra & Men
12. Opening Act One, Scene Three – Orchestra
13. Weather Dance Lesson – Fryer
14. “I Can Do Without You” – Calamity & Bill
15. Opening Act One, Scene Five – Orchestra
16. Backstage Harry – Orchestra
17. Opening Act One Scene Six – Orchestra
18. “’Tis Harry I’m Planning To Marry” – Adelaid, Boys, & Girls
19. Reprise: “’Tis Harry I’m Planning To Marry” – Katie
20. Scene Change: Act One, from Scene Six, Underscore Seven, Eight – Orchestra
21. “Just Blew In From The Windy City” – Calamity & Men
22. Adelaid Background – Men
23. Adelaid Curtain – Men
24. Scene Change: Act One, Scene Nine to Ten – Orchestra
25. “Keep It Under Your Hat” – Katie
26. Reprise: Keep It Under Your Hat” – Katie
27. Exaggeration Ballet – Company
Act II
28. Entr’acte – Orchestra
29. Opening Act Two, Scene One – Orchestra
30. “Higher Than A Hawk” – Bill
31. Scene Change: Act Two, Scene One to Two – Bill
32. “A Woman’s Touch” – Calamity & Katie
33. Underplay: A Woman’s Touch – Orchestra
34. “Love You Dearly” – Katie & Danny
35. Scene Change: Act Two, Scene Two to Three – Orchestra
36. “The Black Hills Of Dakota” – Company
37. Opening Act Two, Scene Four – Orchestra
38. Polka: I Can Do Without You – Orchestra
39. Scene Change: Act Two, Scene Five to Six – Orchestra
40. Second Reprise: “‘Tis Harry I’m Planning To Marry” – Katie
41. Third Reprise: “‘Tis Harry I’m Planning To Marry” – Katie
42. Opening Act Two, Scene Seven – Orchestra
43. Underplay: I Can Do Without You – Orchestra
44. “My Secret Love” – Calamity
45. Reprise: Weather Dance – Orchestra & Fryer
46. Scene Change: Act Two, from Scene Eight, underscore Nine, to Ten – Orchestra
47. Finale – Company
48. Exit Music – Orchestra

Full Orchestration

Violin 1 (2 stands, 4 players)
Violin 2 (2 players)
Viola (2 players)
Cello (2 players)

Reed 1: Clarinet, Alto Saxophone & optional Flute
Reed 2: Clarinet & Alto Saxophone
Reed 3: Clarinet & Tenor Saxophone
Reed 4: Clarinet, Bass Clarinet & Baritone Saxophone

Horns 1 & 2
Trumpets 1 & 2
Trombone 1
Trombone 2

Timpani (2 pedal drums), Xylophone, Bells, Vibraphone, Trap Set [Bass Drum, Snare Drum (brushes & sticks), Tom Tom, Suspended Cymbal], Wood Blocks (2 pitches), Temple Blocks, Triangle, Cowbell, Ratchet, Tambourine & Castanets.

Guitar & Banjo
Piano & Celeste

This orchestration requires 25 players. However, the orchestra parts were voiced so that it is possible to use as few as ten players: Bass, Percussion, Piano, 4 Reeds, 2 Trumpets and Trombone I

  • Musical Style Classic Broadway, Country/Western
  • Dance Requirements Moderate
  • Vocal DemandsDifficult
  • Orchestra Size Large
  • Chorus Size Large

Licensing & Materials

  • Licensing fees and rental materials quoted upon application.

Music Rentals

Concord offers a full suite of resources to help you put on the show of a lifetime!
25 Libretto-Vocal Book
1 Piano-Conductor
1 Reed 1
1 Reed 2
1 Reed 3
1 Reed 4
2 Horn 1&2
2 Trumpet 1&2
1 Trombone 1
1 Trombone 2
1 Percussion
1 Guitar
1 Piano
2 Violin 1
1 Violin 2
1 Viola
1 Cello
1 Bass
25 Libretto-Vocal Book
1 Piano-Conductor


Take a look below at how you can enhance your show!


Paul Francis Webster

Paul Francis Webster (1907-1984) was the most successful songwriter of the 1950s on the UK charts. Born in New York City, Webster attended Cornell University and New York University, eventually leaving without receiving a degree. He worked on ships throughout Asia, then becam ...
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James O'Hanlon

James O'Hanlon (1910-1969) got his start in Hollywood when his novel Over My Dead Body was adapted for the screen in 1942. His subsequent credits include family comedy (Sally and Saint Anne) to musicals (Calamity Jane) to sci-fi (Destination Moon, Conquest of Space). O’Hanlon ...
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Charles K. Freeman

Charles K. Freeman (1900-1980) was a writer, director and theatre critic whose career spanned five decades.

Born in England and educated in Boston with graduate studies at Oxford, England and the Sorbonne, Paris, Freeman remained consistently busy with the theatre, film and te ...

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Sammy Fain


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