David Campbell is one of Australia’s most popular entertainers. A multi-platinum-selling recording artist, Campbell has been featured on TV, starred in theatre and cabaret, recorded three Top Ten albums, and sold out concert tours from coast to coast. He has a unique legacy as not just one of Australia’s leading musical theatre stars, but also one of the few local performers to have achieved similar success in New York.
Born and raised in Adelaide, David was drawn to the performing arts, initially as an actor. He was performing at the STC and Sydney Opera House by the age of 22, and in 1997 starred in a major revival of Les Misérables in Sydney. Shortly after this, Campbell moved to New York, where his downtown cabaret show attracted major crowds. Due to what Time Out New York described as “the biggest buzz since Barbra Streisand,” Campbell moved his show to the iconic cabaret room Rainbow & Stars, becoming the youngest performer ever to headline the venue. With this success as a launch-pad, Campbell was soon in demand by Broadway’s most prestigious writers and directors. Stephen Sondheim cast him in the New York premiere of his musical Saturday Night, and he played leading roles in shows like Babes in Arms (at Lincoln Center), and South Pacific.
In 2001, at the height of his New York success, Campbell was tempted back to Australia by the role of a lifetime – ‘the wild one’ Johnny O’Keefe, in the musical phenomenon Shout! He toured Australia in the show for over a year, and became a household name as a result. Campbell went on to star in Australian productions of classic musicals like Carousel and Company, new works at the MTC and STC, and even in Pirates of Penzance for Opera Australia. Along the way, he picked up a Helpmann Award for Best Actor, for his 2005 role in Sunset Boulevard.
As if this wasn’t enough, Campbell was also establishing himself as one of the country’s biggest-selling recording artists. His albums The Swing Sessions (2006), The Swing Sessions 2 (2007), and Good Lovin’ (2008) all hit the Top Ten and achieved platinum sales. He has also mounted no fewer than five sell-out concert tours – for which he has received a further two Helpmann Awards. In 2009, his live concert DVD Good Lovin’ Live hit number one on the ARIA chart.
In recent years Campbell’s position in the Australian entertainment industry has expanded with his appointment as Artistic Director of the Adelaide Cabaret Festival (the largest cabaret festival in the world), and the success of Luckiest Productions, the production company he runs with his wife Lisa. Luckiest now produces all of Campbell’s national tours, as well as many other independent projects.
The new album David Campbell On Broadway sees Campbell interpreting a host of beloved musical theatre songs on record for the first time. The album combines songs from hit shows in which he has starred (Les Misérables, Company, Guys & Dolls, Carousel) with songs from other hit musicals (Oklahoma!, Hello, Dolly!, Chicago, On the Town), and even a world premiere recording from a forthcoming show by Hairspray writers Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman.
The release of the album was complimented by a specially commissioned television documentary David Campbell On Broadway, produced by Luckiest Productions. The show, which is a mixture of Broadway history, exclusive interviews, and behind-the-scenes footage of the album recording, was broadcast on new arts channel STVDIO on April 3, 2010. Guests included Alan Cumming, Stephen Schwartz, John Kander, Alain Boublil, and Marc Shaiman & Scott Wittman.