It was 20 years ago in May -- May 21, to be exact -- that Beatlemania opened on Broadway. The revue of songs by John, Paul, George & Ringo played 873 performances and had a healthy touring life, but has been relatively quiet since.
Now comes word that a new and different Beatles revue is being developed in France, the concept being closer to Smokey Joe's Cafe than the impersonations and historical contexts of Beatlemania. According to casting director Stephane Ly-Cuong, a well-known French choreographer/director is expected to helm the piece, which is as-yet untitled.
Although there were only four Beatles (well, not counting George Martin, Stu Sutcliffe, Brian Epstein and Klaus Voorman -- all of whom have held the honorary mantle of "Fifth Beatle"), there'll be 12 people in the French show: four musicians, four men, four women.
Rumored for the cast are Barbara Scaff (Broadway's Les Miz company), Gay Marshall (who was one of the actresses to play Morales on Broadway in A Chorus Line and was the original French Grizabella in Cats) and Richard Waits, a veteran of San Francisco's cult hit, Beach Blanket Babylon.
Says Ly-Cuong, "There will be about 30-40 songs featured in it and the show will open in Bordeaux for a week in October, and then open in Paris in the beginning of `98." --By David Lefkowitz