From ‘Rocky Mountain High’ to ‘Sunshine on my Shoulders’

Rocky Mountain Repertory Theatre performs 'Almost Heaven: Songs of John Denver' until Sept. 30

Grand Lake is the perfect setting for "Almost Heaven: Songs of John Denver." The singer's love of the Rockies flows through the entire musical, produced by Rocky Mountain Repertory Theatre.
Matthew Gale Photography – Rocky Mountain Repertory Theatre/Courtesy Photo

Folk musician John Denver fell in the love with the beauty of the Rocky Mountains when he traveled to Colorado. He memorialized the “cathedral mountains,” “clear blue mountain lake,” and “starlight softer than a lullaby” in his famous ode to the state – “Rocky Mountain High.”

Audiences can hear Denver’s signature song, plus many more at the Rocky Mountain Repertory Theatre in Grand Lake. The performance “Almost Heaven: Songs of John Denver” celebrates Denver’s music and the legacy he left behind.

“Almost Heaven” highlights 29 of the folk artist’s songs — including “Sunshine on my Shoulders,” “Annie’s Song,” “Calypso,” and “Leaving on a Jet Plane” just to name few. The musical production creates a uniquely theatrical narrative that reflects upon the country during the years in which Denver performed and the events happening in his life at that time.

“Rocky Mountain High,” which Denver wrote while camping in the Rockies, was named the second official state song in 2007. Denver also earned the title of Poet Laureate of Colorado in 1974.  

Left to right: performers Mitchell Lewis, Jeremiah Smith and Wesley Hodges sing in “Almost Heaven.”
Matthew Gale Photography – Rocky Mountain Repertory Theatre/Courtesy Photo

Rocky Mountain Rep’s talented cast includes: Karis Avisa, Madeline Canfield, Paige Daigle, Wesley Hodges, Mitchell Lewis and Jeremiah Smith. Each performer brings Denver’s songs back to life, and shares his humanitarian vision of the world.

“Almost Heaven” is also led by an amazing production staff. The performance is directed and staged by Jeff Duke, with musical direction by Michael Querio, costume design by Jeff Duke, scenic design by Cody Tellis Rutledge, projection design by DJ Pike, sound design by Alex Preston, lighting design by Ethan Newman, stage management by Amy Radebaugh and assistant stage management by Kyle M. Dill.

Tickets are on sale now at the Rocky Mountain Repertory Theatre box office, by phone at 970-627-3421, or online at “Almost Heaven” plays until Sept. 30. Showtimes are 2 p.m. on Sunday, 6 p.m. on Thursday, and 8 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. Orchestrations and vocal arrangements were created by Jeff Waxman, with the original concept by Harold Thau.

Left to right: performers Madeline Canfield, Karis Avisa and Paige Daigle sing in “Almost Heaven.”
Matthew Gale Photography – Rocky Mountain Repertory Theatre/Courtesy Photo
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