Michael Abraham of Taihape is a star.

He is the chap the whole town is talking about. He is the man who took the plunge and got back on stage after 20 years to perform in the musical Dusty recently on at Taihape Town hall.

And he is also the man who became profoundly deaf in 2002 and thought his days of performing on stage were long gone.

But after cochlear implants in both ears - and few years' break - he has jumped back on those boards again.

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Michael played the legendary record producer Jerry Wexler in Dusty. He had to learn everyone's lines. "Well, I lip-read, so I knew what was going on."

But, as well as lip-reading during the show, he was also be given a special signal from the lighting man when it was time for him to speak.

This week, people around Taihape are still talking about his performance.

One local man said it was wonderful to see Michael back on the boards.

"He was always the life and soul of every party.

"He's back and larger than ever, he's just great."

But Michael admitted to feeling a bit sheepish and embarrassed by all the attention.

"I mean it's lovely and all, but I do feel rather silly. I wasn't that good."