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Travel, Arts

Dream Lover: The Bobby Darin Musical Launch with David Campbell

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Get ready! Dream Lover: The Bobby Darin Musical is coming to Sydney! We attended (Leo and Christine) the media launch at The Sydney Lyric Theatre where we were told by Stuart Ayres, NSW Minister for Trade, Tourism and Major Events that legendary performer David Campbell will play the lead role. 

This is a WORLD PREMIERE NEW Australian musical only performing in Sydney launching this September at the Sydney Lyric Theatre; but we anticipate large interest from Melbournians! We were part of a media contingent hearing about this new show for the first time and were able to interview David Campbell.

It was amazing to connect with David Campbell and Hannah Fredricksen (who plays Sandra Dee) for an exclusive interview with The World Loves Melbourne. David Campbell's own life story mirrors something of Bobby Darin, having been raised by his grandmother believing she was his mother. This aspect means much to David as was evident in our interview. "I've always been a big fan of Bobby's since the 90's", says David. "I was brought up thinking my grandmother was my mother, and my mother was my sister. And I didn't know who my father was. Bobby never found out who his father was. When you have that situation, and then you're also a performer who loves swing music and loves rock and roll; it meant I really latched on to him (Bobby Darin story). It has resonated with me since my early 20s. I've always been passionate about championing Bobby Darin and his legacy." David smiles and says, "I'm a Bobby Darin nerd."

We asked David Campbell about what attracted him to the Bobby Darin story? "Bobby was a star in his day. He was diverse; he did rock and roll; he did swing music; he did funk music. Politically he was active. He had a complicated upbringing. The different journeys that Bobby Darin and Sandra Dee went through would break alot of people. But they got through it." David paints a picture of Bobby being an inspiring and relatable character.

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Dream Lover celebrates the life of legendary American singer, songwriter and actor Bobby Darin. The musical is jam packed with his tunes from the 50s and 60s, including Splish-Splash, Mack the Knife, Beyond the Sea and of course the multi-million seller Dream Lover. Hits we all know but we may not know they were attributed to Bobby Darin.

We also asked David Campbell and Hannah Fredricksen about the 1950s and 1960s and what appeals from that era to audiences today. "I think it's a lot of things including the music and the dress sense. It's going to be a glamorous show." Says Hannah, "It's Hollywood. It's 1950s and 60s Hollywood. So it's going to be glamorous. And with the creative teams that we have, the set and the costumes are going to be exquisite. They were both sharp dressers. I'm very excited that I get to have her hair and clothes. It will be a trip down memory lane for some people, and for others who weren't around they will be transported into that era."

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The show illuminates the fragility and might of the bright-blazing star. Bobby Darin was married to famous Sandra Dee and died at the early age of 37 after heart surgery; but his legacy lives on. An extraordinary story! 

Dream Lover: The Bobby Darin Musical is set to bring that excitement and glamour of the era; a golden era in American history. With a huge cast of some 40 on the stage and an 18-piece big band, this will be a sensory sensation! We asked David Campbell and Hannah Fredricksen about what audiences might expect, and Hannah said, "To be surprised! Including how many Bobby Darin songs they know! And also by the extraordinary stories of both Bobby and Sandra." Says David Campbell, "It's such an incredible body of work in such a short life. There's very few performers and artists that can do that!"

We asked how massive it was for the world premiere to be in Sydney. "It's huge!" says Hannah. "It's massive. It's great for the country," says David Campbell. "It's great for Arts in this country. It's great that Destination NSW and Frosty have got together to do this. It's really important. We're punching above our weight here in Australia. We have some of the best creatives in the world and most of them are doing this show, thankfully."




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Staged by the acclaimed Director Simon Phillips (Priscilla Queen of the Desert), Dream Lover is more than a rags to riches story as it reveals the determination, yearning and heaven-sent talents of the Grammy Award-winning boy from the Bronx.

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The people behind this show are some of Australia's best. Significant is the book behind the show written by Frank and John-Michael Howson, who co-wrote the Johnny O’Keefe musical Shout!, which starred David Campbell. Director Simon Phillips, whose production of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert went to Broadway in 2011 spoke about the development of the show; which began with a series of workshops. From humble but inspirational beginnings, this is set to become a hit!

Leo and Christine Nicotra for The World Loves Melbourne are pictured below with David Campbell and Hannah Fredricksen.

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Tickets for Dream Lover are out April 7, don't miss out!


We are giving away 3 double passes to a preview showing of Dream Lover: The Bobby Darin Musical. Just tell us in 30 words or less why you want to go to the show and why! Please see terms and conditions link here and place your entry on The World Loves Melbourne social media Instagram, Facebook and Twitter with hashtag #DreamLoverAU and #theworldlovesmelbourne.