Stars roll-up when the Wild One shouts

By JO CASAMENTO

RIDING the post-Games wave of national pride, our pioneering king of rock 'n' roll came back to life last night and the who's who of Sydney welcomed his return to the city wtth open arms.

Shout! the story Johnny O'Keefe has had audiences packed into the aisles and last night was no exception as the A-list kicked up their heels at the Capitol Theatre in Haymarket and afterwards at the Entertainment Centre.

Littered with references to Kings Oross, drag-queens, Waverley College, Lime Spiders, Bondi Pavilion and even the Rockdale Town Hall, the show is as Sydney as they come.

An absence from the opening night was Justice Barry O'Keefe, the singer's brother, who was invited but declined to attend, according to the show's publicist.

He has made no secret of his allegiance to the rival musical based on the life of his brother, since shelved following two years in pre-production.

Those who attended this version, which has not ignored the seedier side of O'Keefe's life, included his son John, Janette Howard, Nikki Webster, Kerry Chikarovski, Tom Burlinson and Jimmy Barnes - the proud father of David Campbell who captivates in the lead as the Wild One.

ONE of the; last lines in Shout! sees Johnny O'Keefe's father saying his son always wanted to make it overseas - if he had only realised the greatest gift he had to give was to Australia.

And that's exactly what this musical is, a gift.

David Campbell, an internationally acclaimed cabaret singer, wows: the crowd as the Wild One. Although Campbell shines, it's not hard in a red sequinned tuxedo, the rest of the cast brings the'50s, '60s and '70s alive - and actress Tamsin Carroll, has the voice of a passionate angel.


The Daily Telegraph Sydney, 8 March, 2001.