David Campbell Brings Bobby Darin To Life In Dream Lover - Noise11.com
David Campbell as Bobby Darin in Dream Lover - The Bobby Darin Musical State Theatre NYE 2017. Photo by Ros O'Gorman

David Campbell as Bobby Darin in Dream Lover - The Bobby Darin Musical State Theatre NYE 2017. Photo by Ros O'Gorman

David Campbell Brings Bobby Darin To Life In Dream Lover

by Paul Cashmere on January 1, 2018

in News

‘Dream Lover: The Bobby Darin Musical’ is an Australian creation and a theatrical masterpiece. Frank Howson created the stage play with his cousin John-Michael with a result destined for Broadway.

Australians are privileged to see this show first in the world. The show premiered in Sydney in September 2016 and has now come to showbiz capital Melbourne for a two-month run.

David Campbell as Bobby Darin in Dream Lover - The Bobby Darin Musical State Theatre NYE 2017. Photo by Ros O'Gorman

The hand-picked cast features the perfect placement of David Campbell in the role of Bobby Darin. The real-life Darin had a heart defect from birth and wasn’t meant to live to his teens. He lived to 37. Campbell is already seven years past Bobby’s oldest year but comfortably plays the singer/actor from his teenage to adult years. No-one else in Australia could have played this role. David’s successful career as a singer and television presenter may have just been grooming him for this role he was born to play.

Dream Lover opening night in Melbourne at the Arts Centre on New Years Eve 2017. Photo by Ros O'Gorman

Theatre icon Marina Prior also handles two roles – Bobby’s ‘mother’ Polly and Sandra Dee’s mother Mary Douvan. Marina, a veteran of the Australian stage, brings an essence of theatre royalty to the show.

The show itself is the real-life love story of Bobby Darin and Sandra Dee, a true showbiz couple well before Kim and Kanye turned it into a business model.

Dream Lover opening night in Melbourne at the Arts Centre on New Years Eve 2017. Photo by Ros O'Gorman

The strength of the show is the story. There are so many twists and turns to the life of Bobby Darin that it could have been made up by Steven Spielberg. Bobby could have died as a child but didn’t. That drove him to become a Superman of the entertainment world and achieve goals ‘far beyond those of mortal men’.

Hannah Fredericksen is Sandra Dee, the teenage film star who would later be portrayed (much to her disliking) in Grease.

Dream Lover opening night in Melbourne at the Arts Centre on New Years Eve 2017. Photo by Ros O'Gorman

Sandra adds more twists to the Darin story. She was already a major star when she met Bobby Darin on the set of ‘Come September’. However, her mother lied about her age to get her into movies and Bobby eloped with someone he thought was older.

Bobby’s relationship with his ‘mother’ and ‘sister’ are a crucial part of the storyline. His father, who turns out was his grandfather was a gangster. His sister was really his mother. The woman he thought was his mother was his grandmother.

Dream Lover opening night in Melbourne at the Arts Centre on New Years Eve 2017. Photo by Ros O'Gorman

The unsung star of this show wasn’t even on stage. Melbourne director, producer, screen-writer, songwriter Frank Howson conceived ‘Dream Lover: The Bobby Darin Musical’ with his cousin John-Michael Howson. Howson was meticulous in keeping the story authentic. Bobby’s son Dodd Darin consulted the project keeping the storyline true to his book ‘Dream Lovers’ about his parents. Dodd was not happy with the way the movie ‘Beyond The Sea’ starring Kevin Spacey as Bobby Darin, portrayed his father. Frank has restored the facts after the movie didn’t let the truth get in the way of its story.

Dream Lover opening night in Melbourne at the Arts Centre on New Years Eve 2017. Photo by Ros O'Gorman

Frank’s career includes writing songs from Little River Band, Pseudo Echo and John Paul Young. He is a founder of Australian film company Boulevard Films and as an actor has appeared in Australian productions of ‘Oliver’ and ‘Jesus Christ Superstar’.

‘Dream Lover: The Bobby Darin Musical’ is a brilliant story with brilliant music and a brilliant cast. As an Australian made production, it is also world class.

Dream Lover’ is on until 1 March 2018 at Arts Centre Melbourne.

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