This afternoon, director Simon Phillips, producer John Frost and NSW Minister for Trade, Tourism and Major Events Stuart Ayres gathered at the Lyric Theatre in Sydney to announce the two leads for Dream Lover – a new musical about the life of crooner Bobby Darin.
Billed as “an extraordinary story that goes far beyond the song,” Dream Lover traces the course of Darin’s life, from childhood, to his marriage to actress Sandra Dee, and more. The show will feature plenty of songs from Darin’s dizzying career, many of them now classic entries in the American songbook.
Bobby Darin will be played by David Campbell. Campbell has won three Helpmann Awards, starred in another Australian musical (Shout!) and was the toast of the New York cabaret scene in the 1990s. He is one of the hosts of the Today breakfast program on the Nine network, presents a weekend show on Smooth FM, and has also appeared in Les Miserables, Company, Carousel, Sunset Boulevard and more.
The multi-faceted entertainer will be joined onstage by Hannah Fredericksen (she recently played Olivia Newton-John in the TV mini-series Molly, and on stage in the new Australian musical Ned, A New Australian Musical), as Sandra Dee. The rest of the cast will be announced at a later time.
The show will feature a robust big band and songs like “Beyond the Sea,” “Mack the Knife,” “Splish Splash,” and of course, “Dream Lover”.
Minister Ayres said, “Sydney is the home of first-run musicals in Australia and we are incredibly proud to have secured not only an Australian-first, but the world premiere of Dream Lover – The Bobby Darin Musical. This exciting production will bring Bobby Darin’s extensive songbook to life for a new generation of audiences and we expect almost 30,000 overnight visitors will travel to Sydney to see this production, delivering over $7 million in visitor expenditure for NSW.”
Writers Frank Howson and John-Michael Howson are thrilled their show is coming to fruition. “It has taken nine years of painstaking research and development both here and in the US to get to the heart of this inspiring story of Bobby Darin, who risked it all, every day of his life, to achieve his dream of being one of the greatest entertainers the world has seen,” they said.
“He also found the love of his life in Hollywood movie star Sandra Dee. Their marriage is one of the great love stories and the stuff of dreams. As the writers and originators of this show we are honoured that our work will be brought to life by three men who are internationally acclaimed in their respective fields – producer John Frost, director Simon Phillips and David Campbell as the star.”
Brian Thomson will be set designer, Guy Simpson is musical supervisor, Andrew Hallsworth is choreographer, Tim Chappel will be costume designer, Michael Waters is sound designer, and Daniel Edmonds is musical director.
Dream Lover – The Bobby Darin Musical was secured for Sydney by the NSW Government through its tourism and major events agency Destination NSW. It will be staged at the Sydney Lyric Theatre for an exclusive limited season, with tickets from 30 September on sale from 7 April.
For tickets and more information, visit www.dreamlover.com.au.