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Keeping Roy's Music, Flame Alive

Keeping Roy's Music, Flame Alive

Who: Larry Branson
What: This Lonely Heart: The Musical Biography Of Roy Orbison
Where: Civic Theatre
When: Wednesday September 15, 2004

LARRY BRANSON will never forget the day he had the chance to meet his idol ROY ORBISON. Branson was performing at a hotel in the US where the legendary singer was also staying when he had a chance meeting with Orbison's manager.

He was invited to meet the man himself but, due to a serious case of nerves, he turned down the once-in-a-lifetime offer.

``To this day, I'm still kicking myself about that,'' Branson said.

``Although I saw Roy perform many times, sadly, I never met him.'' Branson, who hails from Canada, first began recreating the magic of Orbison when he auditioned for the LEGENDS OF ROCK'N'ROLL show just after Orbison's death in 1988.

Driven by a passion for Orbison's music, Branson has kept the music alive through roles in productions such as AMERICAN SUPERSTARS and London's West End hit musical THE ROY ORBISON STORY. He spent three years acting and singing with this production, which won a nomination for Best New Musical.

A nomination for Best New Musical and the opportunity to sing Only The Lonely during one of the UK's top TV events, the 1995 OLIVIER AWARDS, are evidence that Branson is fulfilling his life-long dream to keep the music of Roy Orbison alive.

Now Branson stars in the acclaimed stage show THIS LONELY HEART: THE MUSICAL BIOGRAPHY OF ROY ORBISON. The show is on its first Australian tour and opens at the CIVIC THEATRE NEWCASTLE tonight.

Branson will perform all of Orbison's hits, including Only the Lonely, This Lonely Heart and Pretty Woman. He has toured the world with the show and said it was a celebration of Orbison's music.

``The wonderful lyrics and music of Roy are the attraction.

``We don't dwell on his passing, we deliver what people want, that unique sound,'' Branson said.

``The ballads especially help people get in touch with their own feelings.

``It's good therapy.'' Branson has even had the honour of performing before Orbison's brother, SAM, who was quoted as saying, ``The first time I heard Larry sing, I closed my eyes and thought it was Roy''.

Tickets to This Lonely Heart: The Musical Biography of Roy Orbison are on sale from TICKETEK on 4929 th1977.

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