Leading theatre producer John Frost and Chief Executive Officer of Arts Centre Melbourne, Claire Spencer, have announced that they would unite to reinstate the tradition of the annual summer musical in the State Theatre of Arts Centre Melbourne from 2017.
“In days gone by, Melbourne audiences looked forward to enjoying lavish musicals during their summer holidays. Shows like Hello Dolly, The Secret Garden and The King and I opened in late December at the State Theatre and played throughout January and February,” said Frost and Spencer in a joint statement.
The first musical to celebrate the return of the summer musical at Arts Centre Melbourne will be Dream Lover – The Bobby Darin Musical, John Frost and his co-producers John and Barbara Gilbert of Gilbert Theatrical, have confirmed.
Dream Lover – The Bobby Darin Musical had its world premiere at the Sydney Lyric Theatre late last year and audiences fell in love with this new Australian hit. David Campbell will return to star as the Grammy award-winning singer and Oscar nominated actor, Bobby Darin, in the Melbourne summer season, with further cast members to be announced shortly.
“We were blown away by the audience response to Dream Lover in Sydney, with standing ovations at every performance and universal five star reviews by audience members on social media,” said Frost, on behalf of his co-producers John and Barbara Gilbert.
“Audiences were awestruck by the incredible performance of David Campbell, and the energy of Simon Phillip’s thrilling production. We’re excited to be able to bring Dream Lover to Melbourne as the first in the new annual summer musical presentation at the Arts Centre.”
An extraordinary story that goes far beyond the song, Dream Lover – The Bobby Darin Musical reveals the amazing life of this 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.
Dream Lover – The Bobby Darin Musical is a big show with a big score and a big heart. Based on an original concept and stage play by Frank Howson and John-Michael Howson, and adapted for the stage by Frank Howson with Simon Phillips and Carolyn Burns, 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 Dream Lover will grace the stage of the magnificent State Theatre next summer – adding to the vibrant performance offerings of Melbourne,” said Claire Spencer, Chief Executive Officer Arts Centre Melbourne. “At Arts Centre Melbourne, we love bringing people together for remarkable experiences and this production will be no exception. We’re looking forward to working closely with John Frost and the team to bring this fabulous show to Melbourne.”
Dream Lover – The Bobby Darin Musical opens at Arts Centre Melbourne in December. Tickets go on sale Friday 23 June 2017. For more information, visit: www.dreamlover.com.au or www.artscentremelbourne.com.au for details. To read Bill Stephens’ review of the Sydney season, click here.
Image: David Campbell – photo by Brian Greach