There is a parallel to be drawn between the life and career of David Harris -Australia’s favourite leading man in music theatre – and that of the great Peter Allen. Both country boys and both destined for greatness in the artistic realm, it is little wonder that Harris, the kid from the Hunter Valley NSW, chose to pay homage to Allen in the title of his latest one man show, Time is a Traveller.
“I have been singing Peter’s songs since I was a young teenager in local talent quests and my first profession musical was the original production of The Boy From Oz”, Harris told AussieTheatre this week while on a break from Victorian Opera’s Into The Woods rehearsals.
“I spent two years on the show and consider that time on that show as my training ground.”
After playing a successful season at Sydney’s Hayes Theatre Co earlier this year, Harris is now taking his intimate cabaret Time Is A Traveller, which explores what lead him to tread the boards in some of Australia’s biggest musicals, on tour with performances scheduled in Melbourne, Brisbane and his home region of Newcastle next month.
“I didn’t get into NIDA or WAAPA, so ‘doing’ the job was my training and watching and learning from my cast members. A message I do like to emphasise particularly to young performers or kids starting out is attending a university isn’t the be all and end all. You can do it without it, with ethics, drive and resilience.”, he said.
His drive and resilience paid off over the years, and now Harris is hailed as one of Australia’s most acclaimed leading men, best known for his Helpmann Award nomination portrayals, of Chris in Miss Saigon, Fiyero in Wicked and Emmett Forrest in Legally Blonde.
“The main reason for putting on the show is simply to tell my story”, he explained.
“Everyone has a unique and valuable story, even though sometimes we don’t think it’s interesting. This show is MY story, however great or not, and I am fortunate that I have a great platform like performing in which to tell it.”
Self confessed ‘goal orientated’ Harris is set to embark on the journey of a lifetime later this year as he heads to the Great White Way to try his hand at the NYC theatre scene. When asked why he is making the move to New York he emphatically responds “Why not, I say!”
Living and working in New York city have been a long standing goal for Harris and now the opportunity has presented itself, he is landing in the Big Apple with a very solid body of work behind him.
“I have my first gig booked at 54 Below in September so that exciting. I also want to keep challenging myself”, he said.
6 – 8 August
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