David Campbell Sings John Bucchino

Hayes Theatre Co, June 18

John Bucchino and David Campbell. Photo: Sam Bratby

John Bucchino and David Campbell. Photo: Sam Bratby

David Campbell and renowned songwriter John Bucchino met in New York 17 years ago. Friends ever since, their ease with each other shows in their new cabaret show David Campbell Sings John Bucchino currently playing as part of the Hayes Theatre Co Cabaret Season.

In the intimate setting of the tiny theatre, with Bucchino on piano, they perform songs from across Bucchino’s career, from the heartfelt “Grateful” to the jazzy “Puddle of Love” to a number from the DreamWorks animated film Joseph: King of Dreams.

They’re beautiful songs with lovely, sophisticated melodies and lyrics in which Bucchino wears his heart on his sleeve. Many have a theatrical feel and a strong sense of storytelling. They may not be widely known but they are accessible.

Campbell sings most of them though Bucchino does a few himself, while Bucchino has the lion’s share of the patter as he talks (delightfully) about how the two met, his career and the inspiration for the numbers (often love and loss). Campbell chips in with the odd witty comment and bit of banter but for the most part stands respectfully to one side when Bucchino chats.

When it comes to the musical numbers, Campbell is in fine voice, singing with supreme control and beauty, and connecting to the lyrics with great sensitivity. Highlights include his dramatic performance of “I Stayed” from Bucchino’s 2008 Broadway musical A Catered Affair  – how good it would be to see him back on stage in a musical – and a moving version of Learn How to Say Goodbye, as well as Bucchino singing songs like Unexpressed.

The chance to get so up close and personal with the composer and hear his songs performed by such a superb interpreter makes this a special show.

David Campbell sings John Bucchino is at the Hayes Theatre Co until June 28 and at Riverside Theatres, Parramatta on June 29

A version of this review appeared in the Sunday Telegraph on June 22

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