Last updateFri, 12 Oct 2018 11am

Neil Diamond is reborn in Ajijic

What began for Dana Douin as a singer in a 1950s and 60s rock ‘n roll band in Maine, grew into live impersonation acts in Las Vegas.

pg11aFive years ago, he brought his love of performing to Ajijic, and is enjoying every minute of it. Douin’s shows at La Bodega usually sell out, and fans can’t get seem to get enough of him, with audience members singing and clapping while he impersonates the legendary Neil Diamond.

Douin first saw Diamond perform in Las Vegas. “The audience was singing along,” he says. “They knew the words to every song. The energy was unbelievable.”

Douin had moved to Las Vegas in 1986, after his divorce from a 15-year marriage. “I always wanted to live in a warmer climate and be in a city with more going on. In Las Vegas, I got involved in community theater, ran a design company, and my two daughters visited me every summer.”

The man who “discovered” Douin was his rent collector. “I had a karaoke system and was singing a Neil Diamond song as he approached my front door. He said after I opened the door, ‘Don’t tell me that was you singing! I’m a musician on the ‘strip’ and know producers who can get you into a show tomorrow if you can make yourself look like Neil Diamond.’”

To look the part, Douin bought black clothes and a black wig. The rent collector set up a meeting with two producers for an audition. The producers didn’t skip a beat in telling Douin that they wanted to place him in a show.

Meanwhile, he’d become a single parent because his 13-year-old daughter decided she wanted to live with him.

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