After an 18-month break from the limelight to raise her new son, Melinda Schneider is thrilled to be back with her show, Doris.
Schneider fell in love with Doris Day watching Calamity Jane as a young girl.
“I’d sit down on a Saturday afternoon and watch the movies, I just loved the songs. Doris was such a great singer and she had a wonderful comedic nature,” Schneider says.
“She was an actress, dancer and singer with a happy-go-lucky character and I just fell in love with that.
“That’s when I decided to put together a tribute show … the response was so overwhelming and it’s such a natural fit for me.”
Schneider says her time on Channel 7’s Dancing with the Stars has really helped her to fully embrace her character onstage.
But Schneider says there is more to the show, which delves into the true life of the star.
“I didn’t know much about the tragedies of her life until I read up on her – she had four abusive marriages. She didn’t do too well at choosing men,” she says.
“One husband held a gun to her head, another walked out on her, the third lost all her money and worked her into the ground and the fourth was another opportunist who took advantage of her.
“The show follows her life in chronological order – she wanted to be a dancer in Hollywood but was involved in a car accident which crushed her leg, it was after this she discovered she could sing and it changed her life.”
“Portraying her correctly is so important to me.”
Schneider follows Day’s working around Hollywood as a singer and how she won a part in a Hollywood film.
“It’s a fascinating story about how these things came about and how her marriages intertwined with it all.”
Schneider says she was struck to the core when Day personally read her script for the show and said she was happy with it.
“Portraying her correctly is so important to me,” she says.
“It was pretty special to make contact with her and to get a nice thumbs-up.”
Schneider says being on the road for the show with a newborn is going to be a challenge but one she is excited to take – no doubt taking inspiration from the life experiences of Day.
“It’s exciting to learn how to juggle and balance being a mum and singer,” Schneider says.
“I just want to take people on a happy, joyful journey of Doris’s life.
“I think people will love the costumes.”
Apart from her massive tour around Australia, Schneider is working on a new album which she hopes will be out later this year.
Doris is on at the Shoalhaven Entertainment Centre on Saturday, June 14.