60s icon headlines own show
The signature smokey kohl eyes and blonde beehive hair of singer Dusty Springfield is set for the Palmerston North stage.
Famous for songs such as I Just Don’t Know What to Do With Myself, Son of a Preacher Man and Wishin’ and Hopin‘, Springfield with her troubled life, was the original pop diva.
The Australian penned biopic Dusty - the Original Pop Diva opens on Abbey Musical Theatre’s Centennial Dr Auditorium this week.
Show director, designer, choreographer and costumier Ian Harman said the musical covers the British singer’s life from childhood to her death from cancer in 1999.
‘‘It covers the highs and lows of her life, which was quite tumultuous really.’’
Born Mary O’Brien, and originally in a folk duo with her brother Tom, and later with him in a popular folk trio called The Springfields, the singer found her sexuality counted against her.
Unlucky in love, and despite solo success, Springfield retreated from the pressures of fame and public expectation into drugs, alcohol abuse and clinical depression. She re-emerged in the 80s to record What Have I Done To Deserve This? with the Pet Shop Boys.
‘‘If you think of Amy Winehouse, sexuality issues, and how we treat people in general, her story is really quite current. It juxtaposes public perception with the singer’s private life.’’
Tackling the challenging lead role is local singer and Globe Award-winning actor for her role in Mamma Mia!, Amy Hunt.
‘‘Amy is incredible. She has an amazing voice and does great justice to the way Dusty sings as well as capturing the nuances of her character,’’ Harman said. ‘‘There are a lot of intense and contrasting emotions as the show moves back and forth through her life. It’s like a movie montage piece.’’
Told from several perspectives, Read Wheeler plays Rodney, Dusty’s hairdresser and confidant, with Candace Higgie as Peg, the singer’s best friend. Hannah Sandbrook plays young Dusty, aka Mary O’Brien.
Dusty - the Original Pop Diva runs at The Auditorium until December 10.
Songstress Amy Hunt plays 60s Brit pop diva Dusty Springfield in the stage musical ‘‘Dusty’’.