He’s a 30-year-veteran of the Aussie showbiz scene, but it would appear Tom Burlinson can take his industry a little too seriously.
The old adage break a leg is meant as an endearing term to wish a performer good luck, but breaking his leg is exactly what Burlinson did after finishing his mammoth run as accountant Neil Bloom in the musical The Producers at the end of last year.
The break in his leg put on hold plans for Burlinson’s return to the stage in his new Frank Sinatra tribute show, Frank: More From A Life In Song. After weeks of crutches, leg casts and rehabilitation sessions, the new show is set to open on Friday 12 May at the Star City Showroom.
After The Producers, I had a good rest and then was ready to get to work when I broke my leg, Burlinson says.
I was at the beach and this wave picked me up, turned me over and I came down, putting all my weight on my lower leg. I broke the narrow bone on the outside of the leg.
It has slowed me down a bit. I have a bit of a limp, and then at other times when it is warmed up, it is fine.
Burlinson promises, however, his vocal cords are all in fine working order for his new show.
He toured the country for almost five years with his original show, Frank: A Life In Song, and provided the soundtrack for the 1992 Sinatra miniseries. Now Burlinson, 50, has decided the time is right to revisit the work of the legendary performer.
Canadian-born Burlinson has dug further into the Sinatra songbook to find song classics he had not previously performed for Frank: More From A Life In Song.
These are songs people will be familiar with, but they won’t have seen me do them before, he says. If people enjoyed the first show, they will enjoy this.
Included in the songlist are such Sinatra standards as Where Or When, I Won’t Dance, Pennies From Heaven, Just In Time and Witchcraft.
So many of the songs are reflections of what was happening in his life at that time, Burlinson says.
You listen to the lyrics and the way he sang at that time and it is all there -“ you knew what was going on with him.
This material is very challenging to sing, and I have to come to terms with how he was singing in the 1940s, through to his later jazzy time and then his older years when his style become more demonstrative and truncated.
But I love doing it. I love sharing my enjoyment of the music with the audience.
Frank: More From A Life In Song opens 11 May for a limited season. Bookings on 1300 796 330 or at the Ticketmaster website.