David Campbell is a man with a lot on his plate. To be clear, we’re talking about the triple-threat entertainer David Campbell here, not the disgraced state Labor MP — although he’s no doubt working through a few issues of his own at the moment.
The former Campbell is in the midst of promoting his new album, On Broadway. He’s busy pulling together an ambitious, theatrical tour. He’s working as the co-artistic director of the Adelaide Cabaret Festival, opening this weekend.
And he’s preparing for his most important role, as a new father. When we spoke, his wife Lisa was due to give birth any day (in fact, she since has – the couple welcomed Leo Richard James Campbell into the world on June 3).
“It’s insane,” Campbell told Sydney Star Observer, sounding rather jovial considering the stress he was under.
“But the festival’s ticking along, the album’s ticking along, so I’ve been able to move into ‘Let’s get ready for the baby’ mode. I think I’ll probably be building a cot over the opening weekend [of the festival].”
Campbell’s new album is his fourth in as many years, and follows previous excursions into swing and 1960s blue-eyed soul.
This latest collection seems a return to his roots in musical theatre — Campbell got his start in musicals almost 20 years ago.
In 1997, he travelled to New York to try his luck in their musical theatre scene, and soon found himself the youngest performer ever to headline at that city’s prestigious Rainbow & Stars room. Time Out New York even declared he was creating “the biggest buzz since Streisand” — surely the gayest compliment one could receive.
“It is probably the gayest sentence ever,” Campbell laughed.
“I was very lucky to get that praise — it’s been a lovely quote for me, but that’s the first time I’ve heard it described as the gayest quote ever.
“But of course, I’ve spent my career with gay audiences. I used to sing all these songs in gay venues around the country.”
It’s now been five years since Campbell last performed in a musical, but he gets to satiate his hunger for show tunes with the On Broadway tour, which will bring together classic songs from musicals like Oklahoma!, Chicago and Company.
“I thought, well look, if I’m not going to get cast in a Broadway show, I may as well make my own. I really want to make it a theatrical show, as opposed to the concerts I’ve done before. We’ll do songs that didn’t make the album, talk about Broadway, tell stories.
“It’ll be a theatrical extravaganza.”
info: On Broadway is out now. David Campbell plays the Sydney Opera House on August 20. Visit www.davidcampbell.com