Friday, August 26, 2016

Musical Theatre: Dream Lover - The Bobby Darin Musical

The music of Bobby Darin was not of my time and in fact it was only a few months ago when I asked, “Who’s Bobby Darin?” … but now I’m so itching to see the new musical that's about to hit Sydney.  I typed in “Bobby Darin” in You Tube and it came up with his Best Hits playlist and thought, “Of course! Splish Splash and Mack the Knife”. I’m addicted to the crooner’s music now and thankfully I can go and watch it at the Sydney Lyric Theatre as Sydney will host the World Premier to Dream Lover – The Bobby Darin Musical, cementing Sydney’s status as Australia’s capital for live performances.

Earlier this week at the ABC studios, I attended the rehearsals to Dream Lover where Australia’s most versatile entertainer, David Campbell (yes, Australian rock legend’s Jimmy Barnes’ son) plays the lead role of Bobby Darin. It was one of those rehearsals (and there were 3 numbers performed by the cast) that keeps you smiling the whole time and making you itching to jump in and join them on the dance floor. The energy and fun on rehearsal stage was so infectious. David Campbell had the charisma to play the crooner, Bobby Darin and the performers had the energy that explodes on stage as they delivered the awesome dance choreography.

Bobby Darin is known to be one of the most versatile American singer and songwriters - jazz, pop, rock roll, folk and swing in late 1950s and 1960s who lived a short but extraordinary life. Bobby Darin, born in New York in 1936 suffered poor health throughout his life. The knowledge of his vulnerability had spurred him to achieve his successes in music. When chatting with David Campbell, he told me he had always loved Bobby Darin's music when he was in New York in 90s and of course he could see bit of himself in Bobby Darin's story too with the common connection and similar story of both being brought up by their grandmother.

I learnt a few things about the songs David Campbell and the cast performed during rehearsals.

'Splish Splash' is a 1958 song performed and co-written by
Bobby Darin. It was written with DJ Murray the K (Murray Kaufman), who bet that Darin couldn't write a song that began with the words, "Splish Splash, I was takin' a bath", as suggested by Murray's mother, Jean Kaufman. 

The song 'Mack the Knife', although performed by New Yorker Bobby Darin, the lyrics actually are from an old German musical drama called Threepenny Opera with song composed by Kurt Weill and lyrics by Bertolt Brecht, about criminal gangsters that don't leave a trace ... "Oh, the shark, babe, has such teeth, dear ... And it shows them pearly white...". You can see movement of the rehearsals in the clips on my Instagram blog (Splish Splash and Mack the Knife).

Dream Lover - The Bobby Darin Musical will be staged at the Sydney Lyric Theatre for an exclusive limited season, with tickets from 22 September for sale. Go to or 1300 795 267 to book. Tickets cost from $69.90. Thank you to its partner, Destination NSW for making this event possible.


All photography by See.Taste.Do

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