Northern Light Theatre Company presents Dusty: The Original Pop Diva at The Shedley Theatre running from March 29 – April 13. Set in the 1960s, it's the story of the life and music of Dusty Springfield. Directed by Gordon Combes, Musically Directed by Danielle Pedler with Choreography by Sue Pole. The Northern Light Theatre Company always produces incredible entertainment and this show didn't disappoint. One audience member said she saw Dusty the Musical at the Adelaide Festival Theatre in 2016 and thought this show was so much better.
The story begins with Mary Isobel Catherine Bernadette O'Brien, young Catholic girl whose family think she will never amount to anything. Together with her brother Tom, they produce a musical number where she sings and he plays the piano; he received all the praise. Mary felt like her mother only payed attention to her when they would watch Doris Day movies together; Mary's mother was told she could sing better than Doris and made it her life goal to become a star and with that, Dusty Springfield was born.
Starring Robyn Brookes as Dusty, Bianca Levai as Reno, Amie Graham as Mary, Tom Adams as Rodney, Nadine Wood as Peg, Chris Bussey as Kay O'Brien and Russell Ford as Mr O'Brien. Featuring all your favourite hits including 'I Only Want To Be With You', 'Wishin' and Hopin'', 'You Don't Have to Say You Love Me', 'I Just Don't Know What to Do With Myself' and 'Son of a Preacher Man'. It also features toe-tapping hits 'Dancing In The Street', 'My Generation' and 'The Look of Love'.
This musical has a unique approach where we see Dusty looking back at her life as it progresses, looking to Mary for advice. Both Brookes and Graham presented a beautiful rendition of the musical icon. Graham's performance of Dusty Springfield was just beautiful, she portrayed excitement for the role and the future of the character but also presented an approach that made guests believe she had the power and ability to turn into Brookes' character later.
Woods was so quirky and fun she played Peg so well. The audience had a few laughs at Peg's behalf but it really lightened the mood. She had amazing vocals that projected across the stage like lightening in a storm, amazing to watch. Tom Adams stole the show with his comical rendition of Rodney, Dusty's gay best friend who did her hair and cared more about how she looked than she did. His duet with Woods before the finale was funny and well sung, these two have great accompanying voices.
Brookes is Dusty reincarnated, she was born to play Dusty; her vocals is incredible and following the first song, guests knew they were in for a great night. She had the talk, the voice and the dance moves all precise. This was incredible to watch and with the audience taking the part of the Albert Theatre crowd, it made it feel like we were apart of Dusty being reborn. Brookes rendition of 'Son of a Preacher Man' was lovely and if you close your eyes, you would swear it was Dusty herself.
Levai was the perfect person to play opposite Brookes, she had the sassy attitude to portray Reno but also a soft temperament to be the loving support system she needed. Their duet of "I Close my Eyes and Count to Ten" with Brookes was beautiful and filled with emotion; the on-stage connection between these two really celebrated Dusty and Reno's relationship and was highly emotional at times as they were pulled apart and bought back together. This musical celebrated such a beautiful love story as well as such a talented and always remembered star.
The musical has dance routines that are tailored to the era, costumes that make you want to go back the era of go-go boots and patterned dresses and songs that make you want to re-listen to Dusty Springfield over and over. Dusty had many quotes people still use today this one represented exactly how she felt. "Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life". Don't miss your chance to re-live the swinging sixties with Dusty The Musical in Elizabeth this March-April.
Dates: April 5th, 6th, 12th, 13th at 8:00pm April 6th, 13th at 2:00pm
Adult: $32.00 Concession: $26.00 Child under 16: $20:00
Tickets are available at www.northernlight.org.au or you can contact the company directly on (08) 8281 5026 to make bookings over the phone.