Actor's tribute to her role model Doris Day
DORIS Day was "the girl next door" with a million fans around the world and her death earlier this year at 97 has left a big hole according Australian singer/song writer Melinda Schneider.
And she would know - for almost a decade on and off - Melinda, perhaps better-known originally in country music circles has been performing tributes to Doris - in recent months this has meant a capital city theatre tour of a show called, A Farewell to Doris.
She is now going regional and will play the Glasshouse at Port Macquarie on November 22 and CEX at Woolgoolga on November 23 with tickets already on sale.
"I was so saddened to hear the news of the passing of the amazing Doris Day," Melinda said.
Melinda has recorded albums of Doris' songs, co-written and starred in the theatre show and completed sell-out tours, celebrating Doris' work.
"I really thought she would make it to a hundred, she was such a survivor.
"But a lot of people want to celebrate her life and revisit the songs.
"Doris was multi-talented, a true triple threat: a world-class singer, dancer and actor. But it is her beautiful spirit that will stay with me. Doris was so likeable and exuded such sincerity and joy and all that is good. There will never be another like her.
"Singing her songs and telling her incredible story of resilience has been an absolute honour, and I'm happy to have the opportunity to celebrate her wonderful talent with audiences once again."
Ironically though the song that seems to be touching hearts and bringing tears on this tour is not one of Doris' but one of her own.
"I wrote Wish You Were Here for my dad a year after he died," Melinda said.
"I had it in the part of the original show where she lost Rock Hudson and her only son Terry who died of melanoma. But now it's even more poignant, it's for Doris too, it really affects people and makes them cry but I suppose that's part of my job to make them cry."
Melinda's love affair with Doris has been a long one, starting when she saw Calamity Jane, aged eight.
"I thought she was the best of everything a woman can be, and when I grew up I wanted to be just like her," Melinda admitted.
"Whenever I revisit some of her old movies, I'm transported back to that place, a place of happiness and pure joy."
And she kind of has but while Doris had four disastrous marriages, Melinda only had one of those but has had three disastrous relationships.
However she's in a good place now as a mum and a musician - going back into the studio when this tour is over to record her first album in almost a decade.
And then she is working on another musical but this time the subject is even closer to her heart - this time it's about her own 48 years of life and music.
She says "it's about time" and it probably is but it means that it will be a while, if ever, before Melinda sings the songs of Doris Day again.
"Yes but never say never," she laughs.
Friday, November 1: Club Sapphire - Merimbula. Go to clubsapphire.com.au or phone 0264951306; Sunday, November 3: Soldiers Point Club - Soldiers Point. Go to soldierspointbc.com.au or phone 0249827173; Friday, November 8: Royal Theatre - Quirindi. Go to quirindiroyaltheatre.com or phone 0267461755; Saturday, November 9: Prince Of Wales Opera House - Gulgong. In Person: Mudgee Visitor Information Centre or Gulgong Post Office or go to trybooking.com; Friday, November 22: Glasshouse - Port Macquaire. Go to glasshouse.org.au or phone 0265818888 and Saturday, November 23: Cex - Woolgoolga. Go to cex.com.au or phone 0266541307.