Reviewed by Wendy Mildren
For all of you who lived through and can remember the 60’s you will love the Met’s production of Dusty. Amanda Rowe, the Director, Jo Hunt, the Musical Director and Rebecca Stanley, the Choreographer are all to be congratulated on a seamless performance.
The story started back in the 1950’s when plain Mary O’Brien was convinced she had an amazing voice, and even in the face of negativity from her parents she went about transforming herself into the blonde bombshell, who became Dusty Springfield. In a series of short scenes the audience is shown the torment, the lack of self esteem and the sexual side of Dusty.
Emma Gordon-Smith as Dusty was sensational. She had a strong voice, which on opening night was a little too heavily miked, but she looked and acted the part brilliantly. Belinda Price, who played the young Mary O’Brien was fabulous and the interaction between Dusty and Mary really spelled out the story for the audience. Alisa James who played Dusty’s love interest, Reno, was energetic and believable.
Adam Harrison as the gay hairdresser, Rodney, almost stole the show. His comic timing was a joy to behold and he maintained his energy to the very end. He showed his acting ability, particularly, in the scene where he convinced Dusty to join AA. Kaye Hamlyn as Dusty’s mother Kay was convincing to the point where any feminist in the audience would have been moved to boo her. Fiona Aitken as Dusty’s gofer, Peg, was just right for the part. Max Rayner as Mr. O’Brien played his part well.
A special mention must be made of Michael Bates who sang well and played a “Drag Queen” with great enthusiasm. The music was a joy to listen to and for those of us who had lived through the 60’s the songs were very evocative. The dancers all performed these parts brilliantly, and the lighting and sets worked extremely well. In all, a fantastic night out.