Imagine: Liverpool Legend Immortalized in World Premiere Musical Lennon

News   Imagine: Liverpool Legend Immortalized in World Premiere Musical Lennon
 
John Lennon gets his wish to make a musical as the Broadway-bound Lennon begins its world premiere at San Francisco's Orpheum Theatre, April 12.

Written and directed by Don Scardino (A Few Good Men), the new musical about the legendary music star will have run in California through May 14 and then play a stint at Boston's Colonial Theatre (May 31-June 25) before heading to Broadway's Broadhurst to begin previews July 7 and open July 28.

The musical will feature nine actors portraying the late Beatles singer-songwrier John Lennon at various stages in his life backed by an onstage 10-piece band. 27 songs from the substantial Lennon oeuvre will be featured in the musical, among them "Imagine," "Instant Karma," "Give Peace a Chance," "(Just Like) Starting Over," and "Whatever Gets You Through the Night."

Will Chase (Aida), Chuck Cooper (Caroline, or Change), Julie Danao (Rent, Aida tours), Mandy Gonzalez (Aida, Dance of the Vampires), Marcy Harriell (Lucky Duck, "Ed"), Chad Kimball (Into the Woods), Terrence Mann (Les Misérables), Julia Murney (The Wild Party) and Michael Potts (Twelfth Night) comprise the ensemble cast of the new Broadway musical.

Producers Allan McKeown, Edgar Lansbury, Clear Channel Entertainment and Jeff Sine present Lennon by arrangement with Lennon's widow, Yoko Ono. Ono also gave permission for the production to use three unpublished Lennon songs "India, India," "I Don't Want to Lose You" and "Cookin' (In the Kitchen of Love)."

"I was after something that was very theatrical and that would, for the audience, really bring forward the real living idea of John Lennon," director Don Scardino previously told Playbill.com about his upcoming piece. "The idea is basically as if an acting troupe walked on stage, unpacked their bags and said 'Tonight, we do John Lennon' just like the players in Hamlet [say] here's The Murder of Gonzago."

Scardino — who recalls reading an early interview with Lennon and his bandmate Paul McCartney where they mentioned wanting to eventually write a musical — posed that his Lennon musical will show more than just a musician. "He always seemed to be ahead of the curve. Or, by example, the curve followed him. He was such a leader for a certain generation, particularly, that he's emblematic of the times he came through." He summed up the concept as "not only how his life defined the times, but how the times defined him."

Harold Wheeler provides orchestrations for the musical while Lon Hoyt serves as music supervisor and Joe Malone handles choreography. The design team of Lennon includes John Arnone (scenic/projection), Jane Greenwood (costumes), Natasha Katz (lighting) and Bobby Aitken (sound).

For more information and an exclusive interview with Yoko Ono, visit www.lennonthemusical.com.

Clockwise from Top Left: Will Chase, Julia Murney, Chuck Cooper, Mandy Gonzalez, Yoko Ono (with hat), Marcy Harriell, Chad Kimball, Julie Danao, Michael Potts, director Don Scardino and Terrence Mann.
Clockwise from Top Left: Will Chase, Julia Murney, Chuck Cooper, Mandy Gonzalez, Yoko Ono (with hat), Marcy Harriell, Chad Kimball, Julie Danao, Michael Potts, director Don Scardino and Terrence Mann. Photo by Joan Marcus
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