Dream Lover – The Bobby Darin Story – has just opened at the Lyric Theatre, Sydney, with a star-studded opening event. If balloons and confetti are anything to go by, this opening went off with a bang.
Dream Lover stars Aussie favourite David Campbell as Darin, with Bert Labonte, Caroline O’Connor, Hannah Fredericksen, Martin Crewes and Marney McQueen also starring.
Simon Philips directs Dream Lover. He has an impressive list of directorial efforts in the music theatre genre; Priscilla, Queen Of The Desert and Love Never Dies are recent productions that he has shepherded through the development stage. The show is conceived and written by John Michael Howson and Frank Howson with Musical Supervision by Guy Simpson.
Here is a round-up of some of the reviews, hot off the press:
In a review headed, “Too much blubber weighs down Bobby Darin musical”, Jason Blake from The Sydney Morning Herald said, “There’s an enjoyable by-the-numbers bio-musical in Dream Lover if someone cares to wield a flensing blade to the blubber that surrounds it. If not, this hagiographic whole-life story of the American pop star Bobby Darin is destined to fly only in its popular star’s hometown and for a limited season.” He gave the show a mere 2.5 star rating.
Cassie tongue, writing for The Guardian seemed more generous giving the show 3 stars: “It can be difficult to call out this lazy, outdated storytelling when there are many things that Dream Lover gets right, with its talented cast, full-bodied big band sound (though seeing an all-male band and almost entirely white cast is startling), catchy numbers and Vegas-tinted aesthetic, but it’s time we stopped giving musicals a free pass for retrograde politics just because they frequently look and sound fantastic. Dream Lover could – and should – aim higher.”
Although these journalists have not been glowing in their praise of the new jukebox musical, TripAdvisor has an average audience rating of 4.5 stars from 229 publicly submitted reviews.