St. Germain's Ears on a Beatle to Have Off-Broadway Premiere March 16

News   St. Germain's Ears on a Beatle to Have Off-Broadway Premiere March 16
Ears on a Beatle, the new Mark St. Germain play inspired by recently released FBI files on John Lennon, gets its Off-Broadway premiere at the DR2 theatre March 16. Rehearsals start Feb. 24.

The information first came to light in a casting notice. Daryl Roth—who lends the "DR" to the DR2 theatre—is the producer. Starring in the piece are Dan Lauria as Howard Ballantine and Daniel McClure as Bill Dawes. The two played the roles when Beatle was performed July 2-19, 2003, by Barrington Stage Company in Sheffield, Massachusetts.

The playwright, known for the Off-Broadway and regional play, Camping With Henry and Tom, also directs the work.

The play is billed as a dark comedy that "follows the evolving relationship between two surveillance agents assigned to monitor the personal, professional and political activities of former Beatle, band member and anti-war activist John Lennon and his wife Yoko Ono during the 1970s."

At the height of the Vietnam War protest era, "the agents, one a graying cynic disillusioned with a romanticized concept of justice and the other an eager neophyte striving for virtue in his profession, must come face to face with their own values against a backdrop of a changing political culture. As the two agents follow the one man regarded as both visionary hero to millions of young American voters and public enemy number one to a faltering conservative administration, they learn that when it comes to the truth about people and politics, there is always more to the whole story."

Heard in voiceover at Barrington were Dick Cavett, host of the popular TV talk show on which guest John Lennon claimed the FBI was tapping his phone line in 1972; Leon Wildes, John Lennon's attorney throughout his five-year battle to gain U.S. residency in New York in the 1970s; Arlo Guthrie, nationally recognized folk musician and peace activist; Robert Vaughn, star of 1960s TV spy series "The Man from U.N.C.L.E."; and Geraldine Ferraro, the first national party ticket female vice-presidential candidate  who was defeated by the Reagan-Bush team in the 1984 election.  Fred Savage, who played Kevin Arnold, the central character on the TV show, "The Wonder Years," which chronicled the adolescence of a boy growing up in the 1960s and 70s, also performed a voiceover. Lauria played the dad on "The Wonder Years," but he is also known as a respected regional theatre actor, writer and director. St. Germain's work also includes Out of Gas On Lovers Leap and Forgiving Typhoid Mary, and, with Randy Courts, the musicals The Gifts of the Magi, Johnny Pye and the Foolkiller and Jack's Holiday.

Designers are Eric Renschler (scenic), Randy Hansen (sound), Jim Milkey (lighting) and Melissa Panzarello (costume).

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