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Review: New musical should be called All About Yoko
by Katie Hickox, What Goes On Special Correspondent
If you are a fan of Yoko Ono, then you'll love "Lennon the Musical".
"Lennon the Musical", which had its world premiere in San Franciso on Tuesday, is all about John and Yoko's fabulous life together, their incredible love story and amazing love for each other. John's Beatles past is dismissed, because in the musical John is portrayed as needing to move on from the Beatles, was tired of the Beatles and found true love with Yoko.
The musical focuses on John and Yoko "starting over" post Beatles and is a tribute to their life together. No music from the Lennon-McCartney catalogue is included in the show, just John Lennon's solo work in the seventies. However, one highlight of this musical is hearing two previously unreleased John Lennon songs, "I Donít Want to Lose You" and "India".
Cast of Lennon The Musical
How low can you go?
While John Lennon certainly was no saint, the musical portrays John right from the start in a poor light as a philanderer, by showing a scene from a party in the early seventies in which it is implied John has a tryst with a woman in another room. As a result, Yoko decides to split with John, which results in John's "lost weekend" in Los Angeles. During this "lost weekend", John is portrayed as lost and amounting to nothing without Yoko, showing him engaging in excessive partying and drinking.
In a scene which takes place in a Los Angeles nightclub, in which a drunken John yells "Dickie you're an a**hole" at the top of his lungs to Dickie Smothers, who is onstage performing as part of the Smothers Brothers duo, the use of profanity is completely uncalled for and does disrespect to the memory of John. At this point, John is described as having been apart from Yoko for just one year (he actually lived in Los Angeles with May Pang for 18 months) and makes no mention of his lover May that Yoko appointed to be John's mistress during their time apart.
Finding true love?
A turning point in the musical is when John and Yoko reunite and reconnect at the famous New York City concert in which John is performing on stage and their eyes suddenly meet. Finally Yoko has permitted John to finally come back home after he realized he was "lost" and nothing without her.
The audience is treated to their "true love" when John and Yoko are sitting together at a piano and John sings a love song ("Love" from the John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band album) to Yoko, slowly kissing her against a romantic backdrop of projected large intricate falling snow flakes.
Sean Lennon is featured prominently during the "Beautiful Boy" song but in contrast, Julian Lennon gets only a brief mention as John's son from a previous failed marriage to his first wife Cynthia.
So if you love Yoko and John's solo works, this is a musical to go see. But please, Beatles fans, no giggling allowed!
• Lennon The Musical
Published April 14, 2005
This article is Copyright © 2005, Katie Hickox, and may not be reproduced on other web sites or in print, in whole or in part, without expressed permission