Performances began July 7 at the Broadhurst Theatre following a world premiere run at San Francisco's Orpheum Theatre. The show skipped its planned Boston run to head right to New York for previews, but rescheduled its start and opening when Billy Crystal's 700 Sundays extended at the Broadhurst through June 12. Changes to the musical then bumped the opening again to its current date.
Written and directed by Don Scardino (A Few Good Men) using Lennon's own words in interviews, songs and otherwise, Lennon features a diverse ensemble of nine actors slipping in and out of the clothes of John Lennon at various stages in his life backed by an onstage 10-piece band. Director David Leveaux has been reported as having briefly lent a helping hand to the staging.
Billed as "a musical biography, a concert, and a celebration all in one," the ensemble replay Lennon's life from his childhood and Beatles days through his anti-war activism to his love story with Yoko Ono to the fateful day at the Dakota in New York. Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Ringo Starr, Pete Best, Stuart Sutcliffe, Ed Sullivan, J. Edgar Hoover, Mike Douglas, Elton John and even the Queen mum make appearances as characters in the show.
The design team for Lennon features John Arnone (scenic/ projection), Jane Greenwood (costume), Natasha Katz (lighting) and Bobby Aitken (sound). Harold Wheeler provides orchestrations and Lon Hoyt is music supervisor/arranger. Choreography is by Joseph Malone. John Miller serves as music coordinator and Jeffrey Klitz is music director. Bob Eaton and Brian Hendel are credited as creative consultants.
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 Ono also gave permission for the production to use two unpublished Lennon songs "India, India" and "I Don't Want to Lose You."
The songlist includes "New York City," "Mother," "Look At Me," "Money," "Twist and Shout," "Instant Karma," "India, India," " Real Love (Boys and Girls)," "Mind Games," "The Ballad of John and Yoko," "How Do You Sleep?," "God," "Give Peace a Chance," "Power to the People," "Woman Is the Nigger of the World," "Attica State," "Gimme Some Truth," "I'm Losing You/I'm Moving On," "I'm Stepping Out," "I Don't Want to Lose You," "Whatever Gets You Through the Night," "Woman," "Beautiful Boy," "Watching the Wheels," "(Just Like) Starting Over," "Grow Old with Me" and "Imagine."
For more information, visit www.lennonthemusical.com.