The Athens Theatre in DeLand is starting the new year with a bang — or rather with a Rocket Man! Simply put, they may as well have Elton, as Scotsman Rus Anderson is Elton John’s official body double for his “Farewell Yellow Brick Road” world tour videos and photos! Hand-picked by Elton John himself, it was Anderson’s live production of The Rocket Man Show that got him noticed.

In the show, Anderson re-creates the magic and live persona of a young Elton like no other. Storming around the stage with a fun-loving sense of flamboyance — part diva, part soccer player, killer vocalist, fierce piano player, all rock ’n’ roller.

With Anderson's painstaking attention to detail, including wearing gorgeous, colorful and spectacular costumes (many actually worn by Elton), it is widely known as the most authentic Elton John tribute show in the world.

Anderson and his full band of merry crackerjack musicians are the very best in the business. The show is 100-percent live in both vocals and instrumentation. Absolutely no tracks or lip-syncing.

The performance itself is an extremely sincere, intense and visual spectacle of a journey. There are ballads and driving rock songs, so be prepared to laugh, cry, sing and dance, as this performance will remind everyone of the highs and lows of Elton's epic career.

The Rocket Man Show is a regular feature across the USA at venues such as the House of Blues, Hard Rock Live, Caesars Palace, Harrah's, Legends in Concert, BB King's, Universal Studios and Walt Disney World. And, the Athens Theatre is proud to welcome back this awe-inspiring production at 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Jan. 8 and 9.

Socially distant tickets are priced at $35 for preferred reserved seating (rows A-E, downstairs center, and row CC-DD balcony center), and $30 for general reserved seating. A $3-per-ticket processing charge and 6.5-percent sales tax will be added to each purchase.

Pairs of tickets are available online at the Athens Theatre’s website at www.AthensDeLand.com, and groups larger than two can reserve tickets by calling the box office at 386-736-1500.

Box-office hours are 1-5 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday, and 1 1/2 hours before live performances.

The Athens Theatre has taken many precautions to keep patrons, volunteers and performers safe. These safety measures can be found on the Athens Theatre’s website.

— Alexa A. Baldwin is director of marketing and operations for the Athens Theatre.