Dusty­in­toits sec­ondweek


Dusty en­ters its se­cond week with the cast in fine voice and feel­ing the vibes.

Abbey Mu­si­cal Theatre’s Dusty launched its sea­son last week and con­tin­ues from to­mor­row, end­ing its run on De­cem­ber 10 at The Au­di­to­rium, Cen­ten­nial Drive.

Dusty, the mu­si­cal, tells the Dusty Spring­field story, her life, loves, tri­umphs, set­backs and the im­pact she had on the mu­sic scene for nearly four decades.

Dusty was a vi­brant pop and soul singer who ruled the world’s charts and cre­ated an in­deli­ble place for fe­male singers on the stage and record­ing stu­dios. She was a white English girl who could sing and in­ter­pret soul mu­sic and her back story gave her the in­spi­ra­tion to im­merse her­self into ev­ery num­ber.

Direc­tor Ian Har­man be­lieves Dusty changed the face of mu­sic for white soul singers and paved the way for vo­cal­ists such as Adele and Amy White­house. ‘‘It’s an in­cred­i­ble story about an in­cred­i­ble singer,’’ he says.

Production man­ager Mer­ryn Os­borne says peo­ple will ap­pre­ci­ate the show from all lev­els. There’ll be those who loved her voice and song se­lec­tion, there’ll be many who want to know about the real Dusty, both on and off the stage, and there’ll be oth­ers who want a nos­tal­gic trip back to when Son of a Preacher Man and I

Only Want To Be With You ruled the hit pa­rades.

‘‘They’ll all be sat­is­fied with the production,’’ Mer­ryn says.

‘‘There are 25 songs sung fully or in snip­pets or in a mon­tage, the story ad­dresses her highs and lows in­clud­ing her self-doubt, drug and al­co­hol ad­dic­tion and her own sex­u­al­ity and it recre­ates an era where Dusty laid the foun­da­tion for white soul singers to fol­low.’’ Ian em­pha­sises that the theme of

Dusty is friend­ship and love which res­onates through the production. ‘‘It’s a cel­e­bra­tion of her life and her mu­sic,’’ he says.

Ian and Mer­ryn have praise for the en­tire cast and, in par­tic­u­lar, for Amy Hunt who plays Dusty. ‘‘Amy goes from the ela­tion of start­ing a ca­reer to heart­break and de­pres­sion and back again to ten­der scenes and tri­umphs at the great venues of the world,’’ Ian says.

‘‘Her per­for­mance is as good as any I’ve seen on a Palmer­ston North stage.’’

AMT’s Dusty runs from Novem­ber 24 to De­cem­ber 10. Good seats avail­able. Book­ings www.abbey­mu­si­calthe­atre.co.nz.

Candace Hig­gie, AmyHunt (Dusty), Erica Ward, and Read Wheeler.

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