One of the world’s greatest entertainers is being celebrated in an unmissable musical tribute which comes to Liverpool and St Helens this autumn.
Mack the Knife – the Story of Bobby Darin explores the life and music of the late, great singer-songwriter who was one of the biggest and brightest stars of the 1950s and 60s.
Talented writer, singer and musician Asa Murphy will bring Darin thrillingly to life on stage with the help of the Copacabana Swing Band, revisiting all those classic hits including Beyond the Sea, Clementine, Splish Splash, Up the Lazy River, Dream Lover, Queen of the Hop and, of course, the legendary Mack the Knife.
The show comes to Liverpool’s Epstein Theatre on Sunday, 25 September and to St Helens Theatre Royal on Friday, 7 October.
Bobby Darin was born Walden Robert Cassotto in East Harlem, New York in 1936 and as a child suffered several bouts of rheumatic fever which left him with a damaged heart.
But despite illness, and financial hardship, the teenage Bobby was determined to become a big star, learning several instruments including guitar, piano and drums and forming a band with his high school friends.
He started his music career composing jingles and songs, working in New York’s legendary Brill Building, and got his big break writing for the future chart-topper Connie Francis.
At the age of 22 he finally hit the big time himself with the novelty song Splish Splash which sold more than a million records, following it with the hit ballad Dream Lover – featuring a 20-year-old Neil Sedaka on piano, and then by a cover version of the Kurt Weill classic Mack the Knife which went on to top the US charts for nine weeks and won him a Grammy Award for record of the year.
Darin become one of the biggest musical stars of the late 1950s and 1960s and also enjoyed a successful acting career, starring opposite his future wife Sandra Dee in the 1961 film Come September which won him a Golden Globe. Later he was nominated for an Oscar for his role as a shell-shocked soldier in Captain Newman, MD.
During the 1960s he rose to be a massive star in Las Vegas, while later in the decade he became involved in politics, campaigning for presidential hopeful Bobby Kennedy.
Sadly, the health problems which had dogged him since childhood finally became too much and on 20 December 1973, Bobby Darin died. He was just 37.
But Darin and his talent were not forgotten. In 1990 he was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, and nine years later he was also voted into the prestigious Songwriters Hall of Fame.
Asa Murphy says, “Bobby Darin was one of the biggest stars in an era when popular music was exploding into the public consciousness. He was incredibly talented, both writing and singing his own million-selling-hit songs and also enjoying a successful acting career.
“I’m really pleased to be able to celebrate and share his music – and his amazing life story which saw him overcome so many obstacles to achieve his ambitions – with audiences in Liverpool and St Helens this autumn. I can guarantee a fantastic time for all.”