Incredible talent finds her perfect role
Think of Dusty, think of Amy Hunt. Think of Amy, think of Dusty Springfield.
Every so often an incredible talent fits the role so perfectly, you’d think they were born to play it. Both Amy Hunt and Abbey Musical Theatre (AMT) realised that when she auditioned for the role earlier this year.
Dusty Springfield was a vibrant pop and soul singer who ruled the world’s charts for nearly four decades and created an indelible place for female singers on the live stage and recording studio. She was an English girl who could sing soul and her back story gave her the inspiration to infuse herself in every number.
Amy has had an illustrious career stretching nearly 20 years on stage, live in gigs, as a children’s entertainer and now as a teacher. She’s studied and intimately interpreted every role she’s played. Now there’s one that’s just for her and fits her closer than a glove. ’’I’ve been told I have soul in my voice,’’ Amy explains, ‘‘both in power, tone and my empathy for emotive ballads.’’
Dusty added an achingly personal touch to her singing. Amy does the same and the audience feels she’s not just giving a concert but imbuing part of her life into every number.
‘‘I’ve always loved Dusty and I sang You Don’t Own Me for my audition piece because it’s been part of my repertoire all my life,’’ Amy says.
Dusty was a chubby girl with big dreams. Amy also admits she was a chubby teenager who transformed herself in size and ambition to become a singer and teacher. But unlike Dusty, who was surrounded by negative people and whose private life often spiralled out of control, Amy has come from a stable background, supported by family and Tim, her partner.
‘‘Dusty created a mask, an illusion that wasn’t her and, while she was dynamic, carefree and fun on stage, her life could be dramatic,’’ Amy says.
With roles such as Tanya from MAMMA MIA!, Ellen in Miss Saigon, Svetlana from Chess and Motormouth Maybelle in HairSpray already in her portfolio, Amy set out to live and breathe Dusty, the musical.
‘‘Director Ian Harman has given quality time to help shape the character and make it true to Dusty and myself,’’ she says. ‘‘And musical director Andrea Maxwell and I are a team. She’s so supportive. We’ve studied and interpreted the songs so we can make them work.’’
Dusty is presented as a live concert with some of the numbers reflecting and fleshing out the story of Dusty’s life. They are passionate, emotional and intimate and sung with the conviction that only Amy can bring.
AMT is staging Dusty at The Auditorium, Centennial Drive, from November 24 to December 10. Bookings www.abbeymusicaltheatre.co.nz.