David Harris: Time is a Traveller
August 9 2014
Reviewed by Michelle Bull
Country kid turned musical theatre heavyweight David Harris brought some Aussie charm to the Brisbane Powerhouse last Saturday night when his latest cabaret Time is a Traveller played to a full house.
With Aussie charm and sweet honesty Harris takes a musical journey through what has become quite the dream career, from the sequined vests and vocal tap dancing tricks of his RSL talent show days (chicken Parma with your show tune anyone?) to roles in some of Australia’s biggest musicals.
The son of a coal miner dad and secretary mum, Harris’s musical journey began with a leading role in his Year 8 School musical Man of Steel. Despite an incident with some ill-fitting lycra (not what you’re thinking!), he became hooked and followed on a path that would see him star in main stage productions such as Legally Blonde, Wicked, Thoroughly Modern Mille, The Full Monty…the list goes on.
Time is a Traveller features songs from productions that have shaped Harris’s career to date. Interspersed with personal stories and anecdotes of the highs and lows of his career, a wonderful flow and rhythm propels the 90min show, that peppered with casual dialogue and spontaneity makes it impossible not to love.
Harris exudes an ease in his delivery that translates wonderfully to the cabaret genre. His clean and natural tone is perfectly suited to classic musical theatre repertoire, although I sometimes wanted for a little more grit to balance out the delicacy and warmth.
In a career spanning new musicals to the classics, standout songs such as The Sound of Music’s ‘Edelweiss’ (complete with a stunning piano solo!!) and Les Miserable’s ‘Bring him Home’ are well sung and beautiful musical moments while a comic romp into the Yodeling hills of the Swiss Alps shows the Aussie larrikin is never far away. In keeping with cabaret tradition, there is even a spot of audience participation, which is a bit of good clean fun that provides a good opportunity for a giggle.
Also joining Harris onstage for some musical fun was fellow Australian Musical Theatre darling, Anna Marina. The pair delivered some classic duets including a comical version of Delibes The Flower Duet, a fun and unexpected addition that shows Harris’ short visit to the ‘operatic’ world may have left a few raised eyebrows!
In another moment of audience participation, Anna Marina led the audience in singing Happy Birthday to Harris, which the enamoured audience delighted in (Happy Birthday, David!).
Time is a Traveller is wonderful opportunity to become more acquainted with one of Australia’s favourite leading men before he heads to the bright lights of New York. Featuring well loved musical favourites and some undiscovered gems, David Harris’ story is a musical journey sure to capture your heart.