David Campbell is set to return to the musical theatre stage for the lead role in the World Premiere production of Dream Lover – The Bobby Darin Musical.
NSW Minister for Trade, Tourism and Major Events Stuart Ayres joined director Simon Phillips (Priscilla, Queen of the Desert – The Musical) and producer John Frost today to announce the two lead cast members for the exclusive Sydney season at a special event at Sydney Lyric Theatre, The Star.
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.”
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.
Campbell, who today performed a medley of Bobby Darin hits accompanied by an 18-piece big band, will be joined by Hannah Fredericksen as Sandra Dee. One of Australia’s most popular and versatile entertainers and winner of three Helpmann Awards, the multi-talented David Campbell is the perfect choice to star as Bobby Darin. Campbell has starred on stage as ‘the wild one’, Johnny O’Keefe, in the musical Shout!, as Marius in the 10th Anniversary production of Les Misérables, and in Carousel, Sunset Boulevard and Company amongst others. He is also one of the popular hosts of the national Today Extra program for the Nine
Network, and presents his own top rating weekend afternoon show on Smooth FM.
Hannah Fredericksen most recently starred as Olivia Newton-John in the hugely successful TV mini-series Molly, and on stage in the new Australian musical Ned, A New Australian Musical and the Green Room nominated production of City of Angels.
Written by Frank Howson (writer of award-winning films such as Boulevard of Broken Dreams and What the Moon Saw) and John-Michael Howson (co-writer of Shout! The Legend of the Wild One and Dusty – The Original Pop Diva), the show includes 34 great hits from the 50s and 60s including Mack The Knife, Beyond the Sea, Splish Splash and the multi-millionseller Dream Lover.
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.”
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.
John Frost, on behalf of his co-producers John and Barbara Gilbert of Gilbert Theatrical Pty Ltd, said, “We are extremely excited about Dream Lover. It is a fascinating story about the Grammy award-winning singer and Oscar nominated actor, and features an incredible selection of hit songs from the 1960s, including Mack the Knife, Splish Splash, Beyond the Sea and of course, Dream Lover. Who better to fill the shoes of Bobby Darin than David Campbell, a sensational performer who is genuinely a big fan of Darin and has previously recorded some of his songs. With Simon Phillips at the helm and an incredible cast and creative team, this brand new musical is set to provide audiences with an unforgettable experience.”
Simon Phillips has assembled a dream Australian creative team for Dream Lover. 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.
Phillips can’t wait to start rehearsals on the show. “I’m delighted to be reunited with the Priscilla design team, along with choreographer
Andrew Hallsworth, to work on a very different kind of show. We’re all going to be taking a back seat to the work of Guy Simpson, Daniel Edmonds and the stunning big band – this is Bobby Darin after all, one of the greatest musical entertainers of the 20th century!,” he said. “Who better than David Campbell to bring this charismatic showman to life? And what a life! That’s the real eyeopener. It epitomizes the phrase ‘truth is stranger than fiction’. It’s going to be a double whammy – some of the best songs of the era and a story to leave you gasping.”
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.
Don’t miss Dream Lover – The Bobby Darin Musical, a true story stranger than fiction and far beyond the song.