Walking up the stairs at the Speakeasy HQ deposits you in a classy, plush lounge, where you are greeted with friendly faces and the sounds of the previous show wrapping up. Entertainers and audience members alike move eagerly through the Apollo Theatre as they prepare for the next show. Roy Maloy opens with a creatively local version of a song that the audience can all relate to, and introduces the evening’s songstress, Mel Djuric, to carry us along a ‘biographical cabaret’ journey of Dusty Springfield’s career.
Mel immediately captures the audience with the story of how Mary Isobel Catherine Bernadette O’Brien became the Dusty Springfield that we know and love today, and launches into a fun, flirty rendition of the classic, ‘I Only Want to be With You’. Just as this song begins a long list of hits for Dusty’s journey through music, it also begins the evening’s tale that leads you through the highs and lows of Dusty’s life and career.
Mel eloquently traverses Dusty’s path, traipsing effortlessly from her story of girl meets boy in ‘Twenty-Four Hours from Tulsa’, to her periods of introspection in ‘Killing Me Softly’. Between her words and her powerful portrayal of the evening’s span of songs, Mel imparts the true story of Dusty through her life, including the more hidden influences that many of her fans never saw while she was alive.
This tribute is truly a musical adventure with an exceptionally talented guide for your wanderings. Mel delivers a show that is enjoyable no matter how much you know of Dusty Springfield. ‘Son of a Preacher Man – Dusty Springfield’ is a treat that simply should not be overlooked on your next night on the town.
Review written by: Alyssa Baker
Photographer: Jeevan Surendran
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