Australia’s David Harris: On A Connecticut Theater Track

Photo: Lanny Nagler

Photo: Lanny Nagler

First he was an on-the-lam Jean Valjean in Les Miserables at Connecticut Repertory Theatre’s Nutmeg Summer Series. Last year he played everybody’s-pal Billy Crocker in Goodspeed’s Anything Goes. Now David Harris is checking off his third Connecticut gig in three years in TheaterWorks’s production of the musical Next to Normal, running through Sunday, May 7 at the Hartford theater, in an extended run prompted by the popularity of the production.

This time out, Harris is taking on a role of a more mature and contemporary nature—that of the husband and father dealing with a wife with a bi-polar disorder, all the while trying to keep his family intact. Harris stars opposite Christiane Noll in the Pulitzer Prize- and Tony Award-winning musical staged by producing Artistic Director Rob Ruggiero.

“It’s the kind of role and a score I’ve not had the opportunity to tackle until now,” says Harris, who began his musical theater career in his native Australia in award winning roles in Miss SaigonWicked, and Legally Blonde

“Prior to the rock-pop score Next to Normal, I was most comfortable with croony songs or big legit Les Miz songs. But I’m living where it’s able to sit in my voice really well and loving what I’m able to do and interested in exploring. Actually a lot of things you’re told not to do with your voice, like back-phrasing and pop-licks. So there’s a lot of freedom in the singing that I naturally want to do vocally.”