Lennon arrives at the Broadhurst Theatre July 7 for the new bio-musical's Broadway debut starring nine actors who play the legendary singer-songwriter and one-time Beatle. The new musical made its world premiere at San Francisco's Orpheum Theatre and 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. Lennon will open officially Aug. 4.
Written and directed by Don Scardino (A Few Good Men) from 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.
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.
Will Chase (Aida), Chuck Cooper (Caroline, or Change), Julie Danao Salkin (Saturday Night Fever), 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.
Among the songlist belted out in Lennon style are "Money," "Twist and Shout," "Instant Karma," "The Ballad of John and Yoko," "God," "Give Peace a Chance," "Whatever Gets You Through the Night," "Woman," "Beautiful Boy," "Watching the Wheels," "(Just Like) Starting Over" and "Imagine." 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 Ono also gave permission for the production to use two unpublished Lennon songs "India, India" and "I Don't Want to Lose You."
For more information, visit www.lennonthemusical.com.