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Gershwin Tribute

David performed at the Hayden Orpheum at Cremorne, Sydney on Sunday 28th, 1998. He sang, organist Neil Jensen performed on the giant Wurltitzer and as a special guest, Tim Draxl, who was a hit at David's 'master class' also sang. Following the 'live' concert, a movie, a new 35mm print of Shall We Dance screened.

Unfortunately, Penny and I were busy and couldn't go to the show, but here are stories of those who did go.... please feel free to write a review or comments for all to read and I will put them on here.....

If anyone would like me to put up on the web site some photos that you took at this event, please email me and I can organise to get them scanned.


Hi Adam,

I've had a busy week and here it is 11:30pm on Sunday night. Here'a bit more info you might like to add to the Gershwin and Cabaret Convention news.

Gershwin. It would be nice to mention that there were TWO shows, both of them sold out. David learnt most of the songs specially for these shows, (as they were all Gershwin songs - he may have known some of them but there were songs he had never performed before).

I went to the evening show and I was most impressed with the way David handled the crowd. It's not so long back that, at the Tilbury, he seemed ill-at-ease with the audience, and now he can handle them like a real pro, with his patter going on for several long stretches. He also has the confidence to ad-lib. He was particularly generous with his introduction of young Tim Draxl to the audience.

During the second show, once the movie started, David, Tim, Les and the people from the Orpheum adjourned to the Orpheum office next to the theatre. However, David insisted on returning to the theatre as the film ended to say goodnight to the audience, another generous gesture. He also signed a few more CDs and spoke to people, after handling a long line during the intermission.

The Orpheum shows were so successful that they are already considering another show, when David returns. They may do the Gershwin again or they may do another in the same format - tribute to composer plus a movie - possibilites could be Cole Porter or Irving Berlin, for example.

A lot of the success of the show was due to the work put in by Paul Dravet, who manages the Orpheum for Mike Walsh. He introduced the show with illustrated slides on Gershwin and a brief biography. John Love from the Orpheum was also involved with the promotions and everyone associated with theshow paid tribute to broadcaster Alan Jones. Jones has been a fan of David's for quite a while and often talks about him on air and plays his songs. The first show started selling once Jones mentioned it in his programme and very quickly sold out. That prompted the addition of the second performance, which he also plugged.

The Cabaret Convention - from all accounts, Monday night was the best night as far as the regular 'competition' nights. The Gala was exciting and it was a shame that David could not have been there to join in.

Thanks to David's generosity, (and with the guidance of Les Solomons), young Tim Draxl could be doing more in the near future, too.

Keep up with the good work on the site - nice to see the photographs from the Orpheum - and that you got all that up so quickly.


Pat Conlan

Hi everyone,

This is a photo taken at the Gershwin concert on Sunday. In the photo, from the left, is myself, then David and my best friend Kathleen.Hope you enjoy it.


(Elizabeth Try)

Hi Guys...

Just got back from the Gershwin concert at the Cremorne Orpheum... what a great show... just trying to unwind so I can get a *little* bit of sleep before work tomorrow - Mondayitis here I come ;-)

Oh well - it was worth it :-)

I'll try to put together a full report. David was excellent as always... singing some great Gershwin songs with the energy and sensitivity we've come to expect... Tim Draxl (the big discovery from David's Masterclass at Strathfield) was a huge hit - his duet of Strike Up The Band with David, accompanied by Neil Jensen on the Wurlitzer theatre organ was a real highlight. This guy is going to go places. I spoke to him during intermission - mentioned that I'd seen David's first show at the Stables theatre, and I got the same sort of feeling... and that I hoped I be seeing him scaling similar heights to David in four years time. A prominent theatre administrator standing nearby said "Oh - I don't think you'll be waiting that long!"

David as usual was very generous with his time - signing CDs and posing for pictures during intermission and afterwards... I said g'day to him and got a CD signed for a young friend - and was cursing not taking a camera - oh well...

Just the cabaret convention to look forward to now!

David and Tim are both performing at the Red Cross fundraising dinner at Star City on Tuesday, then he's flying to the US on Wednesday.

I better try to get some sleep...

Seeya... Chris

By Chris Murray 


A big thanks to Kerry Brown and Russell Chandler for taking and scanning these theatre photos for use on the website.