Hayes Theatre Co, April 20
Musical theatre leading man David Harris is about to jet off to try his luck in New York City. By way of a farewell, he is performing his cabaret show Time is a Traveller at the Hayes Theatre Co.
In the intimate venue – elegantly decked out for the occasion with candles, white flowers and dark drapes – Harris is an understated but warm presence as he reflects on his journey to the stage and the highs and lows of his career.
Head boy at school but by no means the popular, sporty type, he had his first musical experience as Superman in a high school production of Man of Steel, then hit the talent quests before learning his craft on the job during a two-year run of The Boy From Oz. From there he moved on to lead roles in musicals Miss Saigon, Wicked and Legally Blonde.
He traces this journey in a low-key, engaging fashion, lacing his stories with a wry humour and self-deprecating honesty.
Accompanied by wonderful musical director Bev Kennedy on piano, Harris brings his silken voice, with its thrilling top register, to an interesting mix of well-known and less familiar songs among them “The Way You Look Tonight”, “If I Only Had a Brain” from The Wizard of Oz and several songs by Peter Allen, an artist with whom he feels a special affinity.
Highlights include numbers from several musicals he’s been in such as Thoroughly Modern Millie, The Full Monty and Miss Saigon, to which he brings a great deal of emotional nuance, and a spine-tingling rendition of “Bring Him Home” from Les Misérables.
Harris also displays a sure sense of comedy with a hilarious version of “This Is The Moment” from Jekyll and Hyde as you might experience it in an RSL club and springs a very funny surprise with a story about his teacher’s discovery of his gorgeous falsetto.
He also duets with a guest: Marika Aubrey on opening night, Suzie Mathers this week. All in all, Time is a Traveller is a charming, classy show.
Time is a Traveller plays at the Hayes Theatre Co on May 2, 3 and 4. Bookings: www.hayestheatre.com.au
A version of this review ran in the Sunday Telegraph on April 27