David Campbell is one of Australia’s most popular entertainers. A multiplatinum selling recording artist, Campbell has 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 Miserables 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 from 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 the 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.
Campbell established himself quickly 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.
David’s album success included David Campbell On Broadway and the release of the album was complimented by the specially commissioned television documentary David Campbell On Broadway, produced by Luckiest Productions. A mixture of Broadway history, exclusive interviews, and behind-the-scenes footage of the album recording, the documentary was broadcast on the STVDIO Channel on Foxtel. Regularly performing in the USA as a headlining artist at G’Day LA, Campbell has also acted as MC and headlined at G’Day NY on several occasions.
In recent years Campbell’s position in the Australian entertainment industry 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 Productions now produces national tours and live theatre at the new Hayes Theatre in Potts Point. The first production at the Hayes Theatre, Sweet Charity, recently enjoyed a sell out season, critical acclaim and 8 x Helpmann Award Nominations.
A highly sought after master of ceremonies and live performer, David has hosted and performed at hundreds of events for numerous corporate and charitable organisations. David was recently been appointed as an Ambassador for the Starlight Foundation and regularly supports Dr Charlie Teo’s Cure For Life Foundation at annual events nationally. Along with a Logie Nomination for Most Popular New Talent in 2013, David also co-hosted the 2013 Carols By Candlelight telecast for the Nine Network with Lisa Wilkinson.
Campbell is a founding member of Independent Music Theatre, the group of producers behind the Hayes Theatre Co., a venue in Potts Point devoted to musicals and cabaret. It opened in January 2014 and has quickly established itself as a venue of productions of exceptional quality – winning a recent poll as Australia’s favourite theatre. The inaugural production of Sweet Charity enjoyed no less than eight Helpmann Award nominations in 2014; ultimately securing three well deserved wins and the attention of the entire industry.
Campbell returned to the studio in 2014 to record a brand new album, David Campbell Sings John Bucchino. The album was released in June to critical acclaim, reaching #1 on the Australian Jazz Charts followed by a successful tour throughout venues across Australia. Currently, David is a regular weekend announcer on Smooth FM for the DMG Network, is the co-host of the national Mornings show for the Nine Network in Australia.
See a clip of David Campbell performing in Dream Lover – The Bobby Darin Musical: