By Robert Simonson
13 Jan 2005
Written and directed by Don Scardino, the new musical is based on the songs of the late pop music icon, performer and songwriter John Lennon, once of The Beatles. It will begin previews on July 7 with the opening date set for July 21.
A few of the names were already known, including Mann and Kimball, whose involvement was first reported by Playbill On-Line on Jan. 10.
Lennon is set for its world premiere at San Francisco's Orpheum Theatre (April 12-May 14) and then for a stint at Boston's Colonial Theatre (May 31-June 25) before coming to Broadway July 7.
The design team of Lennon includes John Arnone (scenic), Jane Greenwood (costumes) and Natasha Katz (lighting). Joe Malone provides choreography.
"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 On-Line 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. Well, here's the murder of John Lennon, [or] the life of John Lennon. Doing so, the actors on stage all take up his voice and his time and be another facet of that personality and basically make up the measure of the man in the process, through the course of the evening. And ultimately, Lennon speaks himself at the end of the piece, by showing the 'Imagine' film."
Scardino posed that Lennon will tell the tale of 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."
Scardino summed up the concept as "not only how his life defined the times, but how the times defined him."
The musical will feature 10 actors portraying John Lennon at various stages in his life backed by an onstage 10-piece band. Some 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."
Performance schedules and ticketing information for all venues will be announced at a later date. For more information, visit www.lennonthemusical.com.