Open a music encyclopedia at any random page and it's highly unlikely you will find a story as extraordinary as that of Mary Isobel Catherine Bernadette O'Brien, a.k.a. Dusty Springfield. The jukebox musical Forever Dusty, which is playing at Off Broadway's New World Stages, covers the British songbird's personal and professional adventures from being thrown out of South Africa for refusing to play before segregated audiences to recording her classic 1969 album Dusty in Memphis to her many spells in rehab to her Pet Shop Boys-assisted '80s comeback all at a pleasing canter.
Star and co-writer Kirsten Holly Smith nicely captures Springfield's unique blend of Brit tomboy and ''Son of a Preacher Man''-crooning soul legend, while Christina Sajous offers terrific support as Springfield's lover. If the result is more good than great well, it's worth remembering that, as someone once sang, just being good isn't always easy. B
(Tickets: Telecharge.com or 212-239-6200)
Opening date: Nov. 18, 2012; lead performers: Kirsten Holly Smith, Christina Sajous; writers: Kirsten Holly Smith, Jonathan Vankin; director: Randal Myler; genre: musical