I’m not sure how I missed seeing “Dusty”, the musical about Dusty Springfield when it played professionally in Sydney a couple of years ago. I mean, I’ve loved Dusty’s music for a long time, I think her life story is fascinating, and I’m a big fan of musical theatre. For the life of my, I can’t remember why I didn’t go to see the show. And I’ve been disappointed ever since. And so when a colleague from work asked me if I wanted to see a production put on by the The Australian Institute of Music, I said yes straight away.
The AIM, in case you’re wondering is located in Sydney and “has been preparing people for music careers since 1968, and has evolved and developed into the major independent music-education provider in Australia.” If you’ve ever walked around Central Sydney, you would no, doubt, have passed their offices on Foveaux Street. With little knowledge of their activities though, I thought I’d give it a shot, and along with a few of my colleagues, we went along to see tonight’s production. And it was fan-bloody-tastic.
The musical pumps along at a cracking pace, and while it covers some dark territory such as Dusty’s alcoholism, it never becomes maudlin. Despite her darker moments, Dusty comes across as an extremely strong, though obviously flawed character. There was a moment or two tonight when I became quite teary. In particular, I was touched by the moments when Dusty and her girlfriend in the show sang songs together. There’s also an incredibly tender moment when Dusty’s mother sings the song “My Colouring Book” about the feeling of losing her daughter.
During interval a colleague commented that she really liked the way the songs came in fairly naturally. “There were no odd transitions”, she noted. And I responded, “It ain’t Mamma Mia, that’s for sure”. We all though the three leads were excellent. Overall it was a great night. And if future AIM productions are like this, I’ll be heading back.