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Back Home Again: World Premiere Show About John Denver and His Music

Tony Duvall
Milwaukee Repertory Theater presents the world premiere production of "Back Home Again: On The Road With John Denver". Left to right: Katie Deal and David Lutken.

If you were around in the 1970s, the music of John Denver was around you.

Even though Denver died almost 20 years ago, his songs remain iconic – from Leavin’ on a Jet Plane to Thank God I’m a Country Boy to Rocky Mountain High, and many more.  To many, Denver still epitomizes a distinctly American singer-songwriter style, transcending folk, pop, and country to sell millions and millions of records and win many awards. 

Singer-songwriter and Broadway composer Dan Wheetman spent eight years in John Denver’s band and was good friends with the singer.  Back Home Again: On the Road With John Denver, which recently opened at the Milwaukee Rep’s Stackner Cabaret, showcases the music of John Denver, through the experiences Wheetman had touring with him.  It was written by Wheetman and Randy Myler to be about Denver and his music, but also about so much more.

"It’s couched in me being on the road with John Denver and my relationship with this other human being", Wheetman says. "But it’s also about the struggles of keeping a relationship alive. The struggles of being in your job and making your job real every time you do it."

Back Home Again: On the Road With John Denver is open through early November at the Milwaukee Rep’s Stackner Cabaret.

Bonnie North
Bonnie joined WUWM in March 2006 as the Arts Producer of the locally produced weekday magazine program Lake Effect.