‘John’s words alone’ inspire Lennon musical

By Abigail Keefe
September 30, 2005

It was a hard day’s night to get the musical “Lennon” up and running after it received much backlash from fans and critics alike in April.

It began as one of those “jukebox” musicals, almost seeming to be a tribute concert rather than a musical dedicated to icon John Lennon, who was a member of the beloved group, The Beatles.

After a few changes by director Don Scardino, the musical has emerged into one that actively portrays the vivid and lustrous life of John Lennon.

“Lennon” is entirely dedicated to John alone, and spends very little time on his involvement with the Fab Four. The musical delves into John’s troubled childhood in Liverpool, through Beatlemania, his love affair with his wife, Yoko Ono, and right up to his death in 1980.

Scardino did all that he could to personalize the show, so he used John’s very own words and songs. To give an even better effect, there are only nine performers who portray the many faces of John and the people around him. No one ever leaves the stage, and there are no fancy costume changes.

The show consists of 28 songs total, and it includes only one original Beatles song, which is “The Ballad of John and Yoko,” plus two cover versions performed by the Fab Four.. Scardino says he wanted to choose songs from Lennon’s solo career because he wanted the musical storytelling to be from “John’s words alone.”

Scardino first got the idea to even direct the musical when he was working on a small feature film, and a coworker asked if he knew anything about John Lennon. From there, things skyrocketed. He hopes that people leave the show with knowledge of just how brilliant John was. He was a writer, performer, and major peace activist. His message still lives on today.

This musical would not have been made possible if it was not for Yoko Ono consenting to the idea. She has shown major support and even provided never-before-released songs from Lennon to be used in the musical.

Posthumously, John Lennon has an enduring afterlife in the hearts and minds of fans, seeing how most of his life was put into music.

“Lennon” is a celebration of both his life and his career. It was a long and winding road to Broadway, but “Lennon” made it and has proved to be a great success.

Loquitur welcomes your comments on this story. Please send your comments to: Loquitur@yahoogroups.com . The editors will review your points each week and make corrections if warranted.

Posted to the web by Tim Hague

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Abigail Keefe

Abigail Keefe is a Cabrini College student studying communications, enjoying her time in Radnor, Pennsylvania. Abbie loves working for the school newspaper, the Loquitur, and is also passionate about everything that the communication field has to offer.

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