Catch Melbourne’s summer musical Dream Lover – The Bobby Darin Musical and there’s a good chance you will be humming one of the show’s 34 hits as you leave.
It’s all about entertainment and the slick production never falters.
The fast-paced musical showcases the life of legendary American singer, songwriter and actor, Bobby Darin, played so well by talented David Campbell.
Campbell brings not only a great voice to the role but an energy and enthusiasm you just can’t bottle.
Australian musical theatre star Marina Prior is polished in the dual roles of former showgirl Polly, Bobby Darin’s mother, who is later revealed to be his grandmother, and the ambitious, cut throat Mary Douvan, Sandra Dee’s mother.
The show opens with Campbell’s riveting Mack the Knife performance and you soon know you are in for something special.
From there, Campbell retraces the story of the young Bobby who during childhood, suffered from rheumatic fever, resulting in severe heart damage.
Even at an early age it was instilled in him to grab life with gusto while he could and to make the most of every professional opportunity.
As a grown-up, Darin had several high profile romances, firstly with Connie Francis, and then with Sandra Dee, whom he married when she was only 16 – her mother lied about her age. They had a son and later divorced.
Darin’s world was also rocked by a deep family secret that caused him to withdraw from the public eye for several years before returning with renewed enthusiasm.
The show is full of so many great hits from the 50s and 60s including Mack The Knife, Beyond the Sea, Splish Splash and the multi-million-seller Dream Lover, and you may well have your foot tapping along soon after you sit down.
It’s an entertaining and intimate look at the highs and low of the all-round entertainer who was adored by his fans.
Darin, together with his movie star wife Sandra Dee, provided the iconic soundtrack to a generation.
The musical captures the glamour and passion of the big band era, the Rat Pack in Vegas and the Golden Age of Hollywood, a time of trail-blazing stars, knock-out fashions and life-changing events.
The on stage 18-piece big band takes on a role of its own and is deserving of many accolades.
Sandra Dee is played by Hannah Fredericksen, Martin Crewes plays Steve Blauner, Darin’s oldest friend, biggest fan and longtime manager. In the role of Nina, Darin’s sister, later revealed to be his actual mother, is Marney McQueen and Rodney Dobson plays Charlie, the partner of Nina, a warm father figure to Darin.
The role of young Bobby is shared by Amon Prete, Hudson Sharp, Oscar Mulcahy and Lachlan Young.
Tim Chappel’s fabulous costumes capture the period, as does Andrew Hallsworth’s snappy, inventive choreography.
It’s great entertainment and you leave with a big smile on your face , humming those hits.
Where: Melbourne Arts Centre
When: Until March 4 2018.