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Review: Dear Doris at the Arts Centre Melbourne

Review by Benjamin Lamb

Have you ever been to a gig on a Monday morning? Before Dear Doris, neither had I, but this show was a great way to start the week, and something that should be more popular than it is.

This particular performance is part of the Arts Centre Melbourne’s popular Morning Melodies concerts, which, as the name suggests, occur during the week in the morning, and will traverse through many different genres and performance types.

Today’s performance took place at the popular Arts Centre Melbourne’s Hamer Hall, a staple of many music fans, and the perfect space for this show, the intimate sounds hitting the walls and perfectly bringing the audience in.

Dear Doris is a tribute to the titular performer, Doris Day, who found attention and dazzled many fans across the globe back in the 50’s and 60’s. You may know her leading roles in movies like Calamity Jane, Duet, and Tea for Two. Many hit songs appeared in her films, which was the basis of this performance.

Backed up by an extremely talented 8 piece backing band, popular vocalist Tamara Kudlin leads this show, and does a great job in injecting her own essence into Day’s music. Throughout the 60-minute performance, Kudlin journeys through some of Day’s best works, and effortlessly tells stories through Day’s lyrics.

As you can perhaps expect, this type of show did attract an older demographic of people, which could be argued is the case of having a show during the day, but even if this show was at an easier time, it’s unlikely that the demographic would even out, which is disappointing, as it’s music that should be appreciated by all. Throughout the performance, Kudlin and the band perform slow songs, fast songs, and really showcase their respective talents.

As mentioned, Day’s music was most popular back in the 1950’s, so you wouldn’t be blamed for being unaware of her performances, and the impact they made. But, Kudlin and her band do an incredible job in making sure it’s consumable for all types of music and show fans. Before each song started, Kudlin would explain her relationship with the song, and what it meant for Day at the time, and the impact the performance made.

They performed tracks such as ‘Secret Love’, ‘Que Sera’ and ‘Love Me or Leave Me’, complete with a backing sound that really took the song to another level. On top of that, there were many other tracks that were lesser known, but Kudlin easily made them her own, and created great performances.

Every now and then, a track would include a solo from one of the backing members, which once again, really highlighted the talent of our local session musicians. Many of the 8 piece group also with backing vocals, supporting Kudlin and creating a great performance for the audience.

Dear Doris, a Morning Melodies show, was a great way to spend the morning, and is a type of performance that needs to be more frequent across Melbourne stages.

Image Supplied


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