Broadhurst Theatre, (8/14/2005 - 9/24/2005)

First Preview: Jul 07, 2005
Opening Date: Aug 14, 2005
Closing Date: Sep 24, 2005
Total Previews: 42
Total Performances: 49

Category: Musical, Original, Broadway

Opening Night Production Staff

Theatre Owned / Operated by The Shubert Organization (Gerald Schoenfeld: Chairman; Philip J. Smith: President; Robert E. Wankel: Executive Vice President)

Produced by Allan McKeown, Edgar Lansbury, Clear Channel Entertainment and Jeffrey Sine; Special thanks to: Yoko Ono Lennon; Associate Producer: Louise Forlenza

Music by John Lennon; Lyrics by John Lennon; Book by Don Scardino; Musical Director: Jeffrey Klitz; Music orchestrated by Harold Wheeler; Music Supervisor/Arranger: Lon Hoyt; Additional music by Paul McCartney, Herbert Russell, Berry Gordy Jr., Janie Bradford, Vic Caesar, Yoko Ono Lennon and Carl L. Perkins; Featuring songs by Phil Medley

Directed by Don Scardino; Choreographed by Joseph Malone; Associate Director: Dianne Trulock; Conceived by Don Scardino

Scenic Design by John Arnone; Costume Design by Jane Greenwood; Lighting Design by Natasha Katz; Sound Design by Bobby Aitken; Projection Design by John Arnone; Associate Scenic Design: Brian Webb; Associate Projection Design: Michael Clark; Associate Costume Design: Wade Laboissonniere and MaryAnn D. Smith; Associate Lighting Design: Yael Lubetzky; Associate Sound Design: Tony Smolenski IV

General Manager: Maggie Edelman; Executive Producer: Nina Lannan; Company Manager: Chris Morey; Associate Co. Mgr: Shaun Moorman

Production Manager: Arthur Siccardi; Production Stage Manager: Arthur Gaffin; Stage Manager: Laurie Goldfeder

Musical Coordinator: John Miller; Musical Supervisor: Lon Hoyt; Conducted by Jeffrey Klitz; Associate Conductor: Dave Keyes; Keyboards: Jeffrey Klitz and Dave Keyes; Guitar: John Benthal and Jack Cavari; Bass: David Anderson; Drums: Warren Odze; Percussion: Dave Yee; Reeds: Tom Murray; Trumpet: Tony Kadleck; Trombone: Larry Dean Farrell; Music Copying: Emily Grishman Music Preparation; Synthesizer Programmer: Justin A. Malakhow

Special Effects by Chic Silber

Creative Consultant: Bob Eaton and Brian Hendel; Casting: Janet Foster; Press Representative: Boneau / Bryan-Brown; Marketing: TMG - The Marketing Group; Dance Captain: Marcy Harriell; Advertising: SPOTCo, Inc.; Dialect Coach: Stephen Gabis; Photographer: Joan Marcus

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Opening Night Cast

Will Chase
Chuck Cooper
Julie Danao
Mandy Gonzalez
Marcy Harriell
Chad Kimball
Terrence Mann
Julia Murney
Michael Potts

Standby: Rona Figueroa (Julie, Mandy), Mark Richard Ford (Chuck, Michael, Terrence), Nicole Lewis (Julia, Marcy) and Darin Murphy (Chad, Terrence, Will)

Songs

music by John Lennon; lyrics by John Lennon
(Unless otherwise noted)


ACT 1 Sung By
MotherChad, Will, Julie and All
Look At MeAll
Money
(music by Berry Gordy Jr. and Janie Bradford; lyrics by Berry Gordy Jr. and Janie Bradford )
Mandy, Marcy, Julia and Julie
Twist and Shout
(music by Phil Medley and Herbert Russell; lyrics by Phil Medley and Herbert Russell )
Mandy, Marcy, Julia and Julie
Instant KarmaChuck and All
India, IndiaJulia, Mandy, Will and All
Real Love (Boys and Girls)Chuck, Will and All
Oh My LoveChad and Julie
Mind GamesChad, Julie and All
The Ballad of John and Yoko
(music by John Lennon and Paul McCartney)
All
How Do You Sleep?Mandy
God Michael and All
Give Peace a ChanceTerrence and All
New York CityAll
ACT 2 Sung By
Power to the PeopleAll
Woman Is the Nigger of the WorldMarcy and Women
Attica StateMichael and Julie
Gimme Some TruthWill and All
I'm Losing You/I'm Moving On
(music by John Lennon and Yoko Ono Lennon; lyrics by John Lennon and Yoko Ono Lennon )
Chad and Julie
I'm Stepping OutWill, Chuck and All
I Don't Want to Lose YouTerrence, Julie and Chad
Whatever Gets You Through the NightMarcy and Will
WomanWill and All
Beautiful BoyJulia and All
Watching the WheelsWill, Chad, Michael and Terrence
(Just Like) Starting OverChuck and All
Grow Old with MeJulie
ImagineJohn

Reviews


AP: "'Lennon' a Bland Stage Biography"

The ads for "Lennon," the benign new musical celebrating the life of pop superstar John Lennon, proclaim: "His words. His music. His story."

What seems to be missing, though, is the man himself - and any sense of theatricality. Instead, what we get is a bland stage biography, much of it recited directly to the audience, while a hardworking cast does its best to sell more than two dozen of Lennon's songs, a majority of them from the post-Beatles era.

But then, this unsurprising examination of Lennon is filtered through the prism of his widow, Yoko Ono, who arrived on the scene after the Beatles' biggest successes. She gave her blessing and, reportedly, her considerable input to the project, which opened Sunday at the Broadhurst Theatre after several postponements.

It's hard to see what could have been done to jump-start this musical, directed and conceived by Don Scardino. The facts are here, presented in the most dutiful manner possible, starting with Lennon's birth in 1940 while Britain was being bombarded by the Nazis.

The show outlines his turbulent childhood: brought up by an aunt after his parents split. The lad re-established a relationship with his mother when he was 14, only to have her die several years later, killed in a traffic accident by a drunken policeman.

It was in his teens that Lennon formed a friendship with Paul McCartney, and the musical races through the creation of the Beatles and the group's astonishing success with a rapidity that is head-spinning.

One of the conceits of "Lennon" is to have the entire nine-person cast, at one time or another during the show, impersonate the man. They do this mostly by donning wire-rim glasses and affecting bad Liverpool accents.

Yet you can't fault them when they open their mouths to sing. Lennon wrote some extraordinary songs, pop in idiom but universal in feeling, and these musical-theater performers put them over with gusto. The songs chosen by Scardino comment, more or less, on Lennon's life. Will Chase, a fiercely energetic singer, dominates the Lennon impersonations, primarily, one suspects, because he most looks like the man. Chase scores strongly in "Whatever Gets You Through the Night," a scorching duet with the talented Marcy Harriell.

Midway through Act 1, Lennon meets Ono (portrayed by a stunning Julie Danao-Saikin) at an art gallery opening, and for the rest of the show, their relationship - its ups, downs and in-betweens - takes center stage.

We also get love-ins, peace demonstrations and Lennon's extended battles with immigration authorities. Most of this is told rather than dramatized although there are some feeble attempts at humor - recreating television interviews with David Frost and Mike Douglas, for example, as well as a tired poke at FBI director J. Edgar Hoover, who wears red high heels as he clomps across the stage.

And there are the inevitable marches through the theater's aisles, particularly during the first-act finale when daisies are handed out to the audience as the cast sings "Give Peace a Chance."

The show, which has the band on stage behind the performers, is never given a chance to build dramatically.

Each song rises or fails on its own, giving the evening a jagged, uneven momentum.

Yet, even with those limitations, there are some special musical moments. Among the more potent numbers: Chuck Cooper delivering a commanding version of "Instant Karma," and Julia Murney singing "Beautiful Boy," a wistful appreciation of young Sean Lennon by his father.

Lennon's death - he was gunned down in front of his Manhattan apartment building in December 1980 –is handled simply and effectively. Cooper plays a policeman who rushes to the scene, only to find the fatally wounded Lennon.

There is one jolting, transfixing interlude, which occurs near the end of the show. A film clip of Lennon and Ono is shown. Lennon's distinct voice fills the theater, and he sings one of his best-known anthems, "Imagine." There's more drama in that brief scene than in all the rest of the show. Lennon the man, in all his quirky, contradictory glory, finally makes an appearance.


AP
08/14/2005

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