When I think of Doris Day I can’t help but smile – the woman touted as the worlds first “pop star” produced enough sugar to run a chocolate factory. And as a lover of the sweet stuff, Doris’s string of hits have long been on my personal playlist, so having the opportunity to watch the charming Melinda Schneider play homage to her hero was an absolute delight!
Schneider made it very clear from the beginning that this was in no way an impersonation of the Barbie blonde Ms. Day, but rather a tribute to the woman who launched hundreds of hits still played today.
I realized very quickly that I knew little more about Doris than from the characters she played in her many films, and that her own personal story rivalled that of any Hollywood script. The sunny blonde, although a constant source of positivity had more than her share of tragedy to contend with throughout her career, living through injury, illness and more than one broken heart.
Married four times and bankrupted by husband number three, Doris remained in the spotlight for all the right reasons continuing to produce films and hit singles through the real-life drama she was living.
Like myself, Schneider first fell across the gorgeous Ms. Day during a lazy Sunday afternoon screening of Calamity Jane and has never looked back since. Nailing every song from Secret Love to Que Sera Sera, Schneider was as honest and respectful of Doris as you would expect any great fan to be.
Supported by two of Australia’s best (looking) performers Sam Ludeman and Rohan Browne, they took on the many roles of the men in Doris’s life with conviction and ease. Both were brilliant in their execution, allowing the star of the show to shine, never taking away from the fact that this was Doris’s show.
Joined onstage by Her Majesty’s Theatre Show Band, the musicians were characters in themselves, adding humor along with music to the performance.
Doris had an amazing career and an even more incredible story to tell, her hundreds of hits were testament to her talent and her eventful life was a remarkable demonstration of her spirit.
Schneider captured Doris’s essence in this performance, clearly giving a large piece of herself in creating a showstopper. For not only did the 6 time Country Music Association of Australia winner star in the Doris extravaganza, but she also created and co wrote the piece with David Mitchell, known for his Aussie musical sensations Dusty and Shout!
What was most apparent was the love with which the musical was created, as a second act to Schneider’s album ‘Melinda Does Doris – A Tribute To Doris Day' - this was a fitting and beautifully presented finale.
Supported by the bubbly, emotional and beautiful soundtrack of Doris Day, the entire evening was a waltz down memory lane, and one I would gladly take again.
So Much More Than The Girl Next Door
Venue: Her Majesty’s Theatre, Melbourne
Dates: 23 August – 4 September 2011
Bookings: 132 849 | www.ticketek.com.au