Rotorua to Vegas – Tim’s living a dream
He’s New Zealand’s answer to Frank Sinatra, but Tim Beveridge is still a Kiwi boy at heart.
Behind the Hollywood albums, global performances and international theatre productions is a man who loves rugby and home made roasts.
Raised in Rotorua as the youngest of four boys, Mr Beveridge says the closest he came to music was singing in the shower and playing the piano.
“I always loved music but Kiwi guys didn’t really do music,” he says.
It was only after an eye injury during a school rugby game, where his retina was detached, that he began to think about the direction of his life.
“I had to stop playing rugby. I was gutted. But it made me look at life differently. I’d always been into music but the injury gave me time to think about other things.”
It wasn’t until he abandoned a career in law and left for Canada that he realised he had talent.
“I saw some shows when I travelled and decided I wanted to be a singer.”
And after seeing Phantom of the Opera in London his heart was sold.
With the right Kiwi attitude, he thought he would “give it a go”.
Six years later Mr Beveridge starred in the musical he had dreamed of so often.
At just 29 he stepped out in front of a crowded Sydney auditorium in a black cape and white mask.
“To do a couple of years as an amateur and then to perform it was a dream.
“When he appears in the mirror and musically it crescendos and everything builds to his entrance, and to see this big auditorium and you’re the phantom, it was so surreal.”
From there, his career took off and he performed alongside Hollywood bigshot Hugh Jackman in Sunset Boulevard in Melbourne the following year.
After several trips home and appearances on television, Mr Beveridge decided to broaden his horizons.
He performed with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra and music legend Russ Garcia, who has worked with some of the biggest names in Hollywood, such as Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald, Frank Sinatra and Count Basie.
Mr Beveridge’s love of swing music blossomed as theatre took a back stage.
“It’s the sort of music you grow into,” he says.
“The songs have great melodies and brilliant lyrics for guys.
“There’s a lot of folklore about singers like Sinatra, but they sang the meaning of the words.”
Mr Beveridge’s music has a strong following from the older generation but he says it is slowly being sold to the younger set.
“The music’s so good that artists are going to pick it up,” he says, citing Robbie Williams and Rod Stewart as two artists who have won over younger fans.
On Sunday Mr Beveridge stars in Vegas at the Aotea Centre, a show he is also producing.
“It’s exhausting. Sometimes I say ‘I must be crazy’ because I’m responsible for making decisions to do with the show, the venue, the ticketing, the guest list, advertising and the band.
“That can be pretty intimidating.”
But he says his love of music, of the band and of getting up on stage make it all worth it.
“I get a real buzz from putting a whole lot of talent together. It’s amazing.”
The Mother’s Day show pays tribute to the Las Vegas swing era with classic music from Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra and Bobby Darin.
Songs include Mack the Knife, She, and Viva Las Vegas.
Violinist Jessica Hindin, who Mr Beveridge says is phenomenal, the Auckland Neophonic Orchestra and the Candy Lane dancers all feature in the show with a 17-piece band.
For tickets call 357-3355 or go to www.the-edge.co.nz.
Ordinary guy: A rugby injury forced Tim Beveridge to think more about music.