Dusty (the next show)

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Re: Dusty (the next show)

Postby Corinna » Fri Jul 27, 2018 12:49 pm

Lovely to read everyone’s thoughts here! My flight had been delayed, so I didn’t arrive home until early this morning. I could have seen the show a third time!!! LOL

It was great to meet my Dusty pals in Manchester, I had such a great time, it was wonderful to see you all! <3 After all your thoughtful and balanced reviews, I’d just like to add some of my own thoughts.

We have to remember is that this is a dramatization of central occurrences in Dusty’s life, arranged and narrated to make a great story with dramatic effect (within a 3 hr timeframe!). Meaning they want to get the *feeling* in each situation right, sometimes sacrificing the exact factual correctness of the situation. But then, this is not a biopic, where it would more justified to demand factual correctness.

With that said, I loved how respectfully and lovingly Dusty was portrayed, even in her lowest moments. I was also happy about how classy the love story was told. Even today, sadly it can’t be taken for granted that lesbian love stories are told with respect and compassion. So, well done!

Katherine Kingsley is phenomenal. She really channels Dusty, she gets everything right, movements, voice - you can actually make yourself believe it's Dusty on stage. Joanne Francis, who plays Lois (a blend of all of D's girlfriends rolled into one), is impressive also.

I was deeply touched by the show, and after matinee and dinner with the gang, I went back to see the show a second time. I was an emotional wreck afterwards, but it was so amazing and so worth it! Luckily, Neil and Jason were waiting for me in the bar and restored me with champagne. Thank you, you lovely, thoughtful lads! <3

And the cherry on top was of course meeting Katherine Kingsley in the breakfast room the next day. She was absolutely lovely, as Trek writes above, and wonderful to chat with. What a treat!

All in all – story, wigs, costumes, cast – it was phenomenal. The story portrays Dusty as the legend that she is, triumphant despite adversity. This is the show we’ve been waiting for! [yahoo]
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Re: Dusty (the next show)

Postby pat.dunham » Fri Jul 27, 2018 3:19 pm

Thanks to all for your reviews, certainly everyone enjoyed it. I do so hope it comes to London. I doubt that will not be until 2019, which in itself would be poignant as we will be celebrating/remembering Dusty who would have been 80 and 20 years of not being able to see her.

Great selfie Cor !!

Regards and thanks again to all for your thoughts - let's hope it wont be too long.
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Re: Dusty (the next show)

Postby Corinna » Fri Jul 27, 2018 5:54 pm

Oh, and of course the cast, or at least parts of it, need to come to the next Dusty Day!!!
Cor xx

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Re: Dusty (the next show)

Postby trek007 » Fri Jul 27, 2018 9:44 pm

Sorry your flight was delayed. Were you at the airport for ages? Good job the few days were good!
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Re: Dusty (the next show)

Postby daydreamer » Sun Jul 29, 2018 10:23 am

This isn’t a review of the musical so much as a few thoughts after I saw it for the second time last night. The first time on Wednesday, left me with strange feelings, I struggled with the “false facts”, wrong chronology, IJDKWTDWM being recorded in America, South Africa trip coming after YDHTSYLM, Dusty’s nerves at RSG and smoking (couldn’t she just have bitten her nails!), Kay being played as such a harridan, Talk of the Town cancellation being in the 60’s, the big feet joke (drop it!) Pat being in SA and America and even Katherine’s long legs! I also was uneasy with the depiction of what happened in ‘the lost years’ in America. I just found it all hard to process, plus I was such a blubbering wreck for the last half hour or so! Anyway, after having spoken to lots of others who were there and getting it sorted in my head, I went last night with a determination to enjoy it more and loosen up! The show beginning with 54321 is brilliant, loved that but I don’t think ‘Morgan’ is necessary, though I now understand what they were trying to do, possibly intending him to be an Eden Kane type character crossed with Peppi! Who knows? He gets to sing Middle of Nowhere, which is pretty downbeat, whereas in the hands of Dusty and ensemble it would have been a cracker, highlighting the mod mood of the sixties. I also now get what they were trying to do with Kay’s character, make her a large part of the reason Dusty felt unloved and so insecure but I think they went too far with that, I’d like to see that toned down and maybe recast with a small fair haired Irish woman! An excellent and beautifully gowned Katherine/Dusty closes the first act with a showstopping SOAPM. At the start of the second act there is a show host and a throwing daggers act before Dusty is introduced in an off hand fashion, which I guess is to make us think this is what was happening to her in the States but it felt more like the Northern clubs in the 60’s to me. The LA years are hard to watch, we’ve read about it and we’ve seen photos, some of which show Dusty enjoying herself but there were obviously many times when she wasn’t. I found the revolving bed scene less disturbing this time round but the scene with Kiki and Dusty I don’t care for, Dusty’s character seems to be more Edina in Ab Fab and I think it goes on too long. This is around the part where it’s hard to stay unemotional, seeing what Dusty went through being acted out and especially the scene with Pat talking to a very unwell Dusty on the bench in hospital being very upsetting. From that very low time, we are taken to the resurgent and clean Dusty with the PSB’s and what a joy that is! The final scene with Dusty very ill and ex girlfriend Lois revisiting is beautifully done as is Goin’ Back movingly sung by Katherine, I actually fill up again just talking about it! The finale with ‘Dusty’ in her prime, beautifully gowned and the intro to YDHTSYLM takes your breath away and the performance brings the audience to it’s feet. Spinetingling and showstopping! All the cast were superb, the musicians top class, costumes and wigs spot on. This show, with some tweaks should have legs and travel to the West End, it’s filled a 1700 seat theatre 7 times this week and brought the house down every time, so it doesn’t deserve to end here. Musical highlights for me were Lois and Dusty with The Look of Love and Dusty’s IJDKWTDWM, SOAPM and YSHTSYLM, plus the PSB segment. After seeing this show and knowing how much of the highlights of Dusty’s life and career couldn’t be fitted into two and a half or so hours, it makes me think a well produced film or TV bio would be a good idea after all. So much easier to bring in all the characters needed and keep things in the right order. Would Dusty have enjoyed it? Very unlikely but 20 years on from her death, so many people are being introduced to her story when they never before knew much about the woman behind those fabulous songs.
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Re: Dusty (the next show)

Postby donellac » Sun Jul 29, 2018 10:51 am

Thanks for your thoughts on the musical Carole. They are very insightful and you speak about many aspects that touched me more lightly. It is interesting to read what you have written. I hope you will send this to the production team,

This is my take on the show. I agree that there is much that is great about it and quite a lot that is bad.

Starting with the good – Katherine Kingsley is great as Dusty and Joanna Francis is fabulous as Lois. Both of them give excellent performances of some of Dusty’s iconic songs. The wigs, clothes and makeup are very authentic. The musicians are great too as are the dancers.

The music, Katherine and Joanna's performances and the glitz give the production a sheen and help us forget the source of the story. If the aim is, as Wally has said, to bring Dusty to the masses then the standing ovations at every performance show it succeeds.

I agree with Cas that the first act is mediocre. It introduces Dusty but it fails to present her properly. The audience aren’t shown her stellar rise to fame after the Springfields. They aren’t told of the heights she reached then. Neither do they see her sense of humour. Instead it focusses on her insecurity and stage fright. Where was Dusty the Star?

In this act we also discover Kay O’Brien and we are presented with an unkind, uncaring mother who constantly berates and undermines her daughter. But this is far from the truth. Kay O’Brien was a loving mother who was fiercely proud of her daughter and was always fully supportive of her. This representation of Kay diminishes both mother and daughter.

I agree with other reviewers who point out that the set was somewhat rudimentary and the way of signalling the passing of the years was clunky. I found the production values lower than I had come to expect from reading reviews of the show. But that may be my failing, this is only the second musical I have ever seen so it is difficult for me to judge.

I found the Pat and Ruby characters an annoying distraction. They were more like characters from AB Fab than the close friends and supporters they were meant to represent.

The second act shows Dusty’s descent but I struggle to understand why, with 35 years of her life to squeeze into a two and a half hour show, twenty minutes is spent on a sordid sex scene that is better left unsaid. I am sure her fall could have been represented without going to such depths. There was so much more to Dusty than that.

Back home from Manchester I have re-read parts of ‘that book’. I have also been reading the archived LTD discussion on the book from 2009.

These are Annie Randall’s words from that discussion:

My first problem with DWD is that it has the term "authorized biography" in its title. Everyone--from the publishers to the authors-- knew that this was misleading as it implied that Dusty herself had authorized it. When I first saw the book cover, I remember thinking "wow, Dusty gave someone the authority to write about her." I felt that I'd bought the book under false pretences when I learned later that the "authorization" came from the estate and that D most certainly knew nothing about it. It's rather telling that no one has ever said publicly that Dusty herself authorized or knew about this "biography."
My second problem (again, this repeats what's been said before by Carole G and others) is that it seems particularly criminal, given Dusty's own perfectionism, that the book should have been so incredibly sloppy. Though I would never pretend to speak for Dusty, I would imagine that she would not have objected to the book had it been done with some style or elegance or wit.
My third problem is the "tragic lesbian" subtext (not so sub, really). Penny and Vicki made D into a tired stereotype by leaving out so much (i.e. her MUSIC!!!) and dwelling on tabloid-ready episodes from her relationships. The disproportionate attention to some things and utter lack of attention to others really bothered me and revealed, sadly, the authors' impoverished worldview while producing for an unsuspecting public a wildly unbalanced "biography." The book does the most damage for readers who know nothing about D and pick it up expecting "a life." When regarded from that perspective, DWD's power to shape perceptions and influence D's legacy becomes obvious. I don't think Vicki and Penny did this maliciously. I think it's a result of rushing the book to press and their own limited skills. Is this really Dusty's life? Surely it's only small bits of her life magnified beyond comprehension, made even larger and more disturbing by the absence of anything else. Dusty deserves a real biographer with real credentials to write her life story comprehensively (and with some style for God's sake!). I cannot imagine any fan objecting to a treatment of both Dusty's personal life and her artistic life within the context of a solidly researched biography. BUT what's great about DWD it is that it provoked incredible backlash among fans and got us to focus even more clearly on why we think Dusty is so great. It seemed to motivate fans to tell, tell, and retell the full story (i.e. on fan forums like this).

I agree with virtually every word here and feel they apply equally to the musical.

Dusty once said ‘I'm the most misunderstood, misquoted person I know, honestly’. For me this production is a prime example of those words.
Donella x

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Re: Dusty (the next show)

Postby Douggie » Mon Jul 30, 2018 3:27 am

donellac wrote:Thanks for your thoughts on the musical Carole. They are very insightful and you speak about many aspects that touched me more lightly. It is interesting to read what you have written. I hope you will send this to the production team,

This is my take on the show. I agree that there is much that is great about it and quite a lot that is bad.

Starting with the good – Katherine Kingsley is great as Dusty and Joanna Francis is fabulous as Lois. Both of them give excellent performances of some of Dusty’s iconic songs. The wigs, clothes and makeup are very authentic. The musicians are great too as are the dancers.

The music, Katherine and Joanna's performances and the glitz give the production a sheen and help us forget the source of the story. If the aim is, as Wally has said, to bring Dusty to the masses then the standing ovations at every performance show it succeeds.

I agree with Cas that the first act is mediocre. It introduces Dusty but it fails to present her properly. The audience aren’t shown her stellar rise to fame after the Springfields. They aren’t told of the heights she reached then. Neither do they see her sense of humour. Instead it focusses on her insecurity and stage fright. Where was Dusty the Star?

In this act we also discover Kay O’Brien and we are presented with an unkind, uncaring mother who constantly berates and undermines her daughter. But this is far from the truth. Kay O’Brien was a loving mother who was fiercely proud of her daughter and was always fully supportive of her. This representation of Kay diminishes both mother and daughter.

I agree with other reviewers who point out that the set was somewhat rudimentary and the way of signalling the passing of the years was clunky. I found the production values lower than I had come to expect from reading reviews of the show. But that may be my failing, this is only the second musical I have ever seen so it is difficult for me to judge.

I found the Pat and Ruby characters an annoying distraction. They were more like characters from AB Fab than the close friends and supporters they were meant to represent.

The second act shows Dusty’s descent but I struggle to understand why, with 35 years of her life to squeeze into a two and a half hour show, twenty minutes is spent on a sordid sex scene that is better left unsaid. I am sure her fall could have been represented without going to such depths. There was so much more to Dusty than that.

Back home from Manchester I have re-read parts of ‘that book’. I have also been reading the archived LTD discussion on the book from 2009.

These are Annie Randall’s words from that discussion:

My first problem with DWD is that it has the term "authorized biography" in its title. Everyone--from the publishers to the authors-- knew that this was misleading as it implied that Dusty herself had authorized it. When I first saw the book cover, I remember thinking "wow, Dusty gave someone the authority to write about her." I felt that I'd bought the book under false pretences when I learned later that the "authorization" came from the estate and that D most certainly knew nothing about it. It's rather telling that no one has ever said publicly that Dusty herself authorized or knew about this "biography."
My second problem (again, this repeats what's been said before by Carole G and others) is that it seems particularly criminal, given Dusty's own perfectionism, that the book should have been so incredibly sloppy. Though I would never pretend to speak for Dusty, I would imagine that she would not have objected to the book had it been done with some style or elegance or wit.
My third problem is the "tragic lesbian" subtext (not so sub, really). Penny and Vicki made D into a tired stereotype by leaving out so much (i.e. her MUSIC!!!) and dwelling on tabloid-ready episodes from her relationships. The disproportionate attention to some things and utter lack of attention to others really bothered me and revealed, sadly, the authors' impoverished worldview while producing for an unsuspecting public a wildly unbalanced "biography." The book does the most damage for readers who know nothing about D and pick it up expecting "a life." When regarded from that perspective, DWD's power to shape perceptions and influence D's legacy becomes obvious. I don't think Vicki and Penny did this maliciously. I think it's a result of rushing the book to press and their own limited skills. Is this really Dusty's life? Surely it's only small bits of her life magnified beyond comprehension, made even larger and more disturbing by the absence of anything else. Dusty deserves a real biographer with real credentials to write her life story comprehensively (and with some style for God's sake!). I cannot imagine any fan objecting to a treatment of both Dusty's personal life and her artistic life within the context of a solidly researched biography. BUT what's great about DWD it is that it provoked incredible backlash among fans and got us to focus even more clearly on why we think Dusty is so great. It seemed to motivate fans to tell, tell, and retell the full story (i.e. on fan forums like this).

I agree with virtually every word here and feel they apply equally to the musical.

Dusty once said ‘I'm the most misunderstood, misquoted person I know, honestly’. For me this production is a prime example of those words.


That Sounds right to me. I think the same as you donellac!!

Douggie <3 Dusty :note: :thumbsup: xx
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Re: Dusty (the next show)

Postby donellac » Mon Jul 30, 2018 2:09 pm

Thanks Douggie!

:star: [:)]
Donella x

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Re: Dusty (the next show)

Postby trek007 » Tue Aug 07, 2018 7:46 pm

Lots of positive comment from people who went to the Lowry to see it including some of the Corrie cast .
Yes there are faults, but it's by far the best show to be produced about Dusty and I think it deserves to go to London on the performance of Katherine Kingsley alone.
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Re: Dusty (the next show)

Postby boztiggs » Thu Aug 09, 2018 6:51 pm

yes its me, I know, ive been gone ages and ages! Reading over all the reviews everything has been pretty much said from all angles, I loved it, and for me, when the opening bars of YDHTSYLM come on at the end and she appears, it was the biggest thrill of my life, I had long since dissolved into a blubbing mess anyway and I stopped breathing when this happened, it was great to see all the girls and for us all to share this showing together. After having a meal we had a cool drink with carole g and trek, on the decking outside the theatre bar, in the evening sunshine, it was lovely and a nice way to discuss our feelings about the show at that point, after we said our goodbyes, we decided to surprise corinna, who was watching it for a second time, I knew she would be feeling devastated all over again so I pinged her a message and she came and found us, the end to a lovely day, and my faith restored that someone had finally managed to get dusty across without trying to be her, it wiped away all previous disappointments :)
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Re: Dusty (the next show)

Postby boztiggs » Mon Aug 13, 2018 7:22 pm

Im not very up on theatre stuff, so does anyone know how it works if a show has a short run, how long after do you have to wait to find out if it will get any more outings, id hate to think I was only going to see it once, and given it was bums on seats all the time and standing ovations, I would have thought it made sense to carry on the success asap, im dying to know

Neil xx
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Re: Dusty (the next show)

Postby Douggie » Tue Aug 14, 2018 1:59 am

boztiggs wrote:Im not very up on theatre stuff, so does anyone know how it works if a show has a short run, how long after do you have to wait to find out if it will get any more outings, id hate to think I was only going to see it once, and given it was bums on seats all the time and standing ovations, I would have thought it made sense to carry on the success asap, im dying to know

Neil xx


Hi Neil.

This is where the business side chips in as part of "Show Business"..
Business often means how much money can we make from this venture.
Be it a record, TV show, touring, movies or whatever.
Did they cover their costs for putting on the show? but most of all did they
make enough money from it to continue doing this show.
It is one of the sad things about it all. Everybody has to live with the
business part of music and shows!! It's not all fun, fun, fun!! :cry:

Cheers Douggie
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