Dream Lover Workshop held this week in Melbourne

Bobby Darin
Photo by Gene Howard, 1964. A portrait of Bobby Darin

As reported last week on AussieTheatre.com, a workshop of the brand new musical Dream Lover, will take place in Melbourne for a week, starting today.

Press notes read: Dream Lover tells the story of Bobby Darin, the singer, songwriter, actor and entertainer whose sensational career spanned the 1950s and 60s.

Young Walden Robert Cassotto overcame a life threatening illness and a poor background to become one of the great entertainers of the mid-20th century. His marriage to movie star Sandra Dee was a match made in heaven until the clouds rolled in. Bobby’s fight to reach the top of the entertainment world before his death at 37 is an emotional and triumphant story.

The music of Dream Lover is composed of the songs of Darin and others, including ‘Splish Splash’, ‘As Long as I’m Singing’, ‘Mack the Knife’, ‘Beyond the Sea’, ‘If I Were a Carpenter’, ‘Inka Dinka Doo’ and ‘Mammy’. The musical was  written by Frank Howson and John-Michael Howson, and performers taking part in the workshop include Hugh Sheridan (playing Bobby Darin), Christy Sullivan (as Sandra Dee), Robert Grubb, Sheridan Harbridge, Trisha Noble and Christen O’Leary.

John Frost, Managing Director of The Gordon Frost Organization, acquired the rights for this new un-produced musical in 2010 and is financing the workshop with John and Barbara Gilbert of Gilbert Theatrical. The workshop is being directed by MTC’s Artistic Director Simon Phillips (Love Never Dies, Priscilla), direct from a trip to Brazil where he was casting a production of Priscilla.

In a recent interview with AussieTheatre.com, John Frost said, “I like working with [Simon Phillips], he knows how to construct a musical, and that’s certainly an asset to have…he’s terrific.”

After re-working Love Never Dies into a spectacle which Andrew Lloyd Webber himself named one of the top three productions of his work, ever, and directing the orignal (and all subsequent versions of) Priscialla, Phillips has garnered quite a reputation for creating new musicals in Australia, the West End and on Broadway.

Phillips will also direct the brand new musical An Officer and A Gentleman, which is set to open on 24 May 2012 at Sydney’s Lyric Theatre.  It is hoped that following this workshop, Dream Lover will follow in the footsteps of shows like Dr Zhivago and An Officer And A Gentleman, cementing Australia as the obvious choice to perform brand new blockbuster musicals.

Erin James

Erin James is AussieTheatre.com's former Editor in Chief and a performer on both stage and screen. Credits include My Fair Lady, South Pacific and The King and I (Opera Australia), Love Never Dies and Cats (Really Useful Group), Blood Brothers (Enda Markey Presents), A Place To Call Home (Foxtel/Channel 7) and the feature film The Little Death (written and directed by Josh Lawson).

Erin James

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