John Denver Musical Will Be Surflight’s Next Mainstage Production

John Denver
Surflight’s almost thirty day period-extensive manufacturing of the musical “Mamma Mia” is coming to an close on Sunday, Aug. 30. Up next on the mainstage – or truly the theater’s 2020 summer season house owing to the COVID-19 pandemic, a big prime tent in Seashore Haven’s Veterans Memorial Park catty-corner from the theater itself – is “Almost Heaven: Songs of John Denver.”
The demonstrate will open up at 8:15 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 2. Exhibits starting up at 8 p.m. will adhere to on Sept. 3, 4, 5, 9, 10, 11, 12, 15, 16, 17, 18 and 19 when 2 p.m. matinees will be done on Sept. 6, 8, 13, 15 and 20.
Tickets are $41 for older people and $31 for young children 12 decades of age and younger. They may perhaps be acquired on the internet at, by cell phone at 609-492-9477, or at the box place of work.
“Almost Heaven” is fifty percent ebook musical, half musical revue dependent all around 29 John Denver tunes this kind of as “Rocky Mountain High, “Sunshine on My Shoulders,” “Take Me Household, State Streets,” “Thank God I’m a Region Boy” and “Leaving on a Jet Plane.” It opened on off-Broadway in 2005 and is a tribute to Denver, a famous 1970s singer-songwriter who handed away in 1997 at the age of 53 in a aircraft crash.
Denver was born on New Year’s Eve, 1943 in, of all places, Roswell, N.M. Sure, that Roswell!
His father was as U.S. Army Air Forces (the predecessor of the U.S. Air Force) pilot stationed at the Roswell Army Air Field. Denver’s identify was initially Henry John Deutschendorf Jr. It is easy to fully grasp why he transformed his moniker to the name of his favorite condition.
Denver was a folkie in the 1960s, first singing with a group named The Alpine Trio though he was a scholar at Texas Tech University. He dropped out of school in 1963 and moved to L.A., singing at people clubs. In 1965 he grew to become the lead singer of a nationally highly regarded folks group identified as The Chad Mitchell Trio immediately after Mitchell determined to start a solo profession. In 1969 Denver himself made the decision to go solo.
The timing of Denver’s selection to develop into a solo performer was not just a case of not acquiring alongside with the other associates of the renamed The Mitchell Trio or anything at all as basic as that. He’d experienced a strike that calendar year, even if he was just the song’s author and not the performer. Amazingly, “Leaving on a Jet Plane” was Peter, Paul and Mary’s only No. 1 hit ever on the Billboard Incredibly hot 100 chart, which quickly gave Denver reliability in the audio business, just as Willie Nelson had obtained notice in Nashville in 1961 by producing “Crazy,” a huge Patsy Cline hit.
Denver’s level of popularity immediately exploded. In 1972 he had his very first Leading 10 album with “Rocky Mountain High” and in 1974 and 1975 he scored four No. 1 songs – “Sunshine on My Shoulders,” “Annie’s Track,” “Thank God I’m a State Boy” and “I’m Sorry” – as well as 3 No. 1 albums – John Denver’s Biggest Hits, Back again Dwelling Again and Windsong.
The singer-songwriter received numerous an award in his abbreviated existence. The Academy of Region New music named his 1974 Back House Again the Album of the Yr. American Tunes Awards named him 1975’s Favored Pop/Rock Male Artist, and 1976’s Beloved Nation Male Artist. The Region Music Association Picked him as the 1975 Entertainer of the Yr and voted “Back Dwelling Again” as the 1975 Tune of the Calendar year. In 1997 he won the Grammy Award for the Greatest Musical Album For Kids in 1998 he was supplied the Grammy Award Hall of Fame Award for “Take Me Property, State Roads.” In 1996 he was inducted in the Songwriters Corridor of Fame.
Here’s a bit of trivia that demonstrates just how influential Denver’s new music was. Some 49 U.S. states have official point out tracks, selected by point out legislatures or governors. Some have several point out songs – Tennessee has 9 of them! Apparently, the a single state that doesn’t is New Jersey. But there are only two songwriters who wrote two point out tunes.
Stephen Foster is 1 of them, thanks to Florida’s “Old Individuals at Residence,” a.k.a. “Suwannee River” – indeed, Suwannee, not Swanee – and Kentucky’s “My Outdated Kentucky Dwelling.” Denver is the other, with Colorado’s “Rocky Mountain High” and West Virginia’s “Take Me Property, Place Roads.”
How great is that?  —R.M.

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