Trib­ute to Amer­ica’s singing sweet­heart

The Tribune (NZ) - - ENJOY! -

mer­ica’s singing sweet­heart of the sil­ver screen has had a triumphant re­vival by New Zealand vo­cal­ist Ali Harper. In the 1950s and ‘60s Doris Day was the num­ber one fe­male box of­fice star in the world with such hits as Sen­ti­men­tal Jour­ney, Secret Love and What­ever Will Be, Will Be and her en­dur­ing songs and al­bums are still heard reg­u­larly to­day.

In­spired by a meet­ing with Doris Day on her 92nd birth­day, Ali Harper has cre­ated a one-woman bou­tique mu­si­cal play based on a tele­vi­sion spe­cial, set in 1971 in Hol­ly­wood.

‘‘With her bub­bly per­son­al­ity, lilt­ing voice and blonde beauty, Doris Day was Amer­ica’s singing sweet­heart,’’ Ali says. ‘‘Our show, en­ti­tled A Doris Day Spe­cial, cel­e­brates the life and songs of the quin­tes­sen­tial girl next door.’’

A Doris Day Spe­cial de­buted in Christchurch in April/May and has en­joyed suc­cess­ful sea­sons in In­ver­cargill, New Ply­mouth and Hamil­ton. Ali’s Palmer­ston North per­for­mance will be pre­sented by the Re­gent on Broad­way on Sun­day, July 10, at 4pm.

Crit­ics de­scribe Ali Harper as the com­plete Doris Day, singing and danc­ing through her films, her lead­ing men, her four high-pro­file mar­riages, her financial ruin, her per­sonal con­nec­tion with Charles Man­son but, de­spite sad­ness and pain, she re­cov­ers ev­ery step of the way.

Ali Harper re­searched Doris Day for three years and sang to her on her 92nd birth­day, two years ago. The ex­pe­ri­ence led to her homage to a very spe­cial woman.

‘‘I wanted to write a show that people could feel an over­whelm­ing sense of nos­tal­gia through Doris’s mu­sic and films but also cap­ture the fun­da­men­tal beauty of a re­ally joy­ful and pos­i­tive woman, no mat­ter what life has thrown at her,’’ Ali com­ments.

Set­ting the spe­cial in a Hol­ly­wood TV stu­dio gives Ali the li­cence to have her au­di­ence wit­ness the on-air and off-air mo­ments which are so rarely seen.

The spe­cial mu­sic tracks that ac­com­pany Ali’s singing were recorded by the Rodger Fox Big Band with a 12-piece string en­sem­ble.

Ali has starred in nu­mer­ous mu­si­cals and plays in ma­jor cen­tres and has toured New Zealand in Chess, Evita, Pi­rates of Pen­zance, Ok­la­homa and the one-woman play, Bomb­shells. She has per­formed at New York’s pres­ti­gious Met­ro­pol­i­tan Room in 2013 and 2014 with her cabaret show A Down Under Diva and is a reg­u­lar guest en­ter­tainer on cruise ships.

She was res­i­dent singer for four years on TV One’s Danc­ing With the Stars.

A Doris Day Spe­cial Sun­day, July 10, 4pm. Book­ings at Tick­etDirect.

Ali Harper is Doris Day.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.