John Lennon's widow, Yoko Ono, has signed off on a new Broadway musical that will feature the songs of the late Beatle. Edgar Lansbury and Don Scardino are producers of the still untitled show, which is now referred to as The Lennon Project. The musical is aiming for a 2004-2005 Broadway debut after an out-of-town engagement.
In a statement Ono said, "Over the past two decades, I have been experiencing the feedback from the world to John's life, statements and music. I realized what John had meant to the world. He was a catalyst who brought down the hypocrisy of the old world establishments by saying 'Gimme Some Truth.' What we present on stage should again give people insight, encouragement, inspiration and fun, so they can go on with their lives with some assurance and hope."
Producer Scardino told Variety that the musical will not be a traditional book musical; instead, the show will use Lennon's songs to tell the story of an era that was defined by his music and life. "Our project," said Scardino, "is the story of Lennon as lighting rod and how he defined the times and how the times defined him. . . . Lennon's changes corresponded to our generation: There was the rocker, the hippie, the meditation guru, the transcendentalist, the political revolutionary, the house husband, and all the while there was the evolving artist."
Scardino will also direct the piece, which he is writing with playwright Eric Overmyer; Overmyer is the author of On the Verge, Native Speech and Dark Rapture. The Lennon Project will feature 12 actors, who will play different aspects of the singer-composer's personality. It is estimated that the musical will boast 30 Lennon tunes that were written after the Beatles disbanded.
Some of Lennon's 200 song titles include "Imagine," "Working Class Hero," "Mind Games" and "Whatever Gets You Through the Night."