AT the end of every second day, Monique Montez researches Dusty Springfield to find out something new about the bee-hived London songstress dubbed ‘the white queen of soul’.
Her latest finding, discovered just last week, was remarkable: when the troubled diva died in 1999, she left all her money and possessions to her 12-year-old cat, Nicolas.
After performing several roles in the hit musical Dusty: the Original Pop Diva, Sydneysider stage starlet Montez celebrates her idol’s musical triumph in Dusty – the Concert.
By unearthing fascinating titbits about her subject, she offers audiences a rare and fresh insight into the iconic entertainer.
“People ask me: ‘is it a challenge to impersonate Dusty’ and I say: ‘I’m not imitating her, I’m channelling her – I’m Monique singing Dusty’,” Montez said.
“I wear the wigs and eyelashes and perform the famous phrasing and the arms – people love it.
“I got a great compliment the other night in Sydney by a lady in her ‘80s who had met the star – her husband played guitar for her – and she said: ‘you were just like Dusty, you’ve really done your work’.”
The concert is a spin-off of the musical, in which Monique played several roles and was the Dusty understudy.
Vocalist Deni Hines, also from the musical, wanted to relaunch the act and asked Montez – from stage shows Saturday Night Fever and We Will Rock You – to play the leading lady.
“Dusty is everywhere I go: I walked through the shopping centre the other day and heard I Only Want To Be With You playing and then I went to the video store and rented Pulp Fiction and Son of a Preacher Man came on. I just can’t get away from this chick!” she said.
“She has put a roof over my head because I’ve been singing her songs on stage since 2006. She has fed my ego too as I feel love from the compliments I receive.
“It’s a shame Dusty isn’t alive today so we could say to her: ‘hey, we’re doing concerts about you and you’ve got a float on the Mardi Gras – people love you’.”
Dusty – the Concert
Where: Astor Theatre, Mt Lawley
When: August 3
Tickets: www.bocticketing.com.auBreakout box for Mandurah
Dusty – the Concert
Where: Mandurah Performing Arts Centre
When: August 4