Musician preparing for Denver role

Bevan Gardiner rehearsing the title role, at Mosgiel's Coronation Hall, in Take Me Home - The Music & Life of John Denver. Photo by Gerard O'Brien.
Bevan Gardiner rehearsing the title role, at Mosgiel's Coronation Hall, in Take Me Home - The Music & Life of John Denver. Photo by Gerard O'Brien.
Dunedin musician Bevan Gardiner is reprising the role of John Denver in a production that rehearsed in Mosgiel last week to prepare for a New Zealand and Australia tour.

Take Me Home - the Music & Life of John Denver, produced by the Mosgiel-based Concert Events Ltd, was also filmed for a DVD version last week.

The rehearsal in Mosgiel's Coronation Hall started on

Saturday and finished on Friday. The show has John Denver Management approval, and was authorised by Harold Thau, Denver's manager and friend, Concert Events Ltd said.

Gardiner will be joined on stage by Mosgiel performer Georgie Daniell.

''It is quite eerie singing on stage with Bevan because he sounds so like John Denver you think you are on stage with him,'' Daniell said.

As well as Denver's songs, the show includes archival film footage.

Topics covered include Denver's concerns for the environment, the inspiration for many of his songs, and his death in a plane crash in 1997.

A fan of Denver for more than 20 years, Gardiner, who is partially sighted, has travelled to Aspen, Colorado twice, where he met Denver's mother, Irma Deutschendorf, and brother Ron.

He was the star of the 2008 Denver tribute show Whisper the Wind.

''I am really excited about bringing this show to Australia. I am a John Denver fan and to be able to sing his songs is such an honour,'' Gardiner said.

• The show will be performed at Dunedin's Regent Theatre on September 7.

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