She was labelled the ‘White Soul Singer’ of her time and brought new music to the audiences she entertained. She was to become one of the most famous British Pop Divas of all time.
Born Mary O’Brien, Dusty Springfield had a “colourful” life according to Rosa McCarty, who portrays Springfield in the latest version of Dusty: The Original Pop Diva presented by Williamstown Musical Theatre Company (WMTC).
As children in the 80s many of us have fond memories of going to grandparents’ houses and having many of Dusty’s popular tunes playing on the wireless such as “Son of a Preacher Man.”
McCarty also said the story of the ‘Icon of White Soul’ is “told through the music that is dispensed throughout the show.” The music is an integral part of the show, as it helps tell the story of her life, both the high and lows. The story at times can be dark and daunting but through the colourful music the story has a somewhat unique way of being told.
The story of Dusty appeals to everyone, both young and old; audiences across the board will relate to every song played and associate each with memories from the past. The team at WMTC assures that no leaf of Dusty’s life will be left untold.
Matt Jakowenko, who plays the fictitious Rodney, describes his character as Dusty’s gay best friend: “Rodney sees Dusty in a different light and helps her through the good times and the bad, and was always there for her through the drug and alcohol addiction.” He goes on to say “he would also be seen as the comic relief for the show.”
Both Jakowenko and McCarty told Theatre People that the show is a “Joyful celebration of [Springfield’s] life.”
McCarty would like to make a special mention to keep an eye out for Renee Pope-Munro who plays Reno and Phillippa Chalke who plays the young Mary O’Brien: “Both are groovy in their own way.” she stated.
Jakowenko would like to make mention of Marco Fusco who is part of the talented ensemble. He describes Fusco is a “fabulous drag queen”.
So if you’re in for a night of soulful music and a blast of a time, the head on down to Williamstown for a night of 60’s and 70’s music. I am sure you will be “Dancing in the Street.”
Dusty : The Original Pop Diva opens May 6th and runs till May 21st at the Williamstown Mechanics Institute; corner of Melbourne Rd & Electra Street, Williamstown; Bookings can be made at www.wmtc.org.au or by phoning 1300 881 545.