Producer John Frost has announced casting for the four principal roles in the World Premiere production of Dream Lover – The Bobby Darin Musical which plays the Sydney Lyric Theatre from 22 September for a strictly limited season.
Caroline O’Connor, Bert LaBonte, Martin Crewes and Marney McQueen will join David Campbell as Bobby Darin and Hannah Fredericksen as Sandra Dee in the extraordinary tale of the Grammy award-winning singer and Oscar nominated actor, Bobby Darin.
Caroline O’Connor returns to the Sydney stage following her Helpmann Award-winning performance as Reno Sweeney in the Opera Australia/John Frost production of Anything Goes. Caroline has most recently created the role of Lily Malevsky-Malevitch in the world premiere, Broadway-bound musical, Anastasia. O’Connor will play the dual roles of former showgirl Polly, Bobby Darin’s mother (who is revealed to be his grandmother), and the ambitious, cut throat Mary Douvan, Sandra Dee’s mother.
In the role of Nina, Darin’s sister (later revealed to be his actual mother), will be Marney McQueen. McQueen played Marion in the original cast of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert the Musical, the evil Velma Von Tussle in Hairspray the Musical and the evil Queen Zeena in Cat Stevens’ Moonshadow.
Fresh from his starring role in Sydney Theatre Company’s hit play All My Sons, Bert LaBonte will play Charlie, the partner of Nina, a warm father figure to Darin. A favourite of MTC and STC audiences, LaBonte has performed in such musicals as The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, Pippin, Next to Normal, Chess, The Full Monty, Jesus Christ Superstar, Showboat, Guys and Dolls and An Officer and a Gentleman – for which he won a Helpmann Award.
Martin Crewes will play Steve Blauner, Darin’s oldest friend, biggest fan and longtime manager. Crewes has performed leading roles in Australia, America, the UK and Asia, enjoying a successful career in film, theatre and television. His musical credits include GFO’s Doctor Zhivago and South Pacific, Guys and Dolls, Chess, Hair, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat, Aspects of Love and most recently Hayes Theatre Co’s award winning production of Sweet Charity.
An extraordinary story that goes far beyond the song, Dream Lover reveals the amazing life of the legendary American singer, songwriter and actor. An intimate and epic story of an all-round entertainer adored by his fans, Bobby 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. Featuring a sensational cast and an 18-piece band, Dream Lover – The Bobby Darin Musical is a big show with a big score and a big heart.
Directed by Simon Phillips and written by Frank Howson and John-Michael Howson, the show includes 34 great hits from the 50s and 60s including Mack The Knife, Beyond the Sea, Splish Splash and the multi-million-seller Dream Lover.
“We are thrilled that Caroline, Bert, Martin and Marney are joining the cast of Dream Lover,” said John Frost, on behalf of his co-producers John and Barbara Gilbert of Gilbert Theatrical Pty Ltd. “Ticket sales are going through the roof, proving that Sydney can’t wait for David Campbell and the 18-piece big band to perform those wonderful hit songs from the 1960s.”
“With this stellar lineup of performers, Simon Phillips at the helm and the best creative team we could have hoped for, this brand new musical is set to be an unforgettable experience for audiences,” added Frost.
Dream Lover – The Bobby Darin Musical
Sydney Lyric Theatre, Pirrama Road, Pyrmont
Season 30 September – 30 October 2016 (previews: 22 – 29 September)
For more information, visit: www.dreamlover.com.au for details.
Image: Marney McQueen, Bert LaBonte and Caroline O’Connor – photo by Brian Geach