Beatle John Lennon would have enjoyed the musical stage production based on his life and songs because of its complexity, especially the use of nine actors to play him, according to his wife Yoko Ono.
Ono said her late husband would have admired how his multifaceted persona is brought to life by the cast of “Lennon,” which premiered this week at San Francisco’s Orpheum Theater.
“That’s very John. He did not want to limit himself to one exclusive group of people. He felt the whole world was his friend and his family,” Ono told Reuters Television in a recent interview.
Director Don Scardino said the musical was a labor of love — and a massive responsibility because of the legacy of Lennon, who was shot to death outside his Manhattan apartment by a deranged fan in December 1980 just as he was making a musical comeback.
“He is my hero. He has been since I was 16 years old and the Beatles landed at Kennedy airport and I was there. I saw them live when I was a teenager. I did not want to mess it up,” Scardino said.
“I wanted to be true to who he is and what my feelings as a fan and all the fans’ feelings are about John, and I also wanted Mrs. Lennon to be happy. I told her if you tell me it’s good, then I have done my job, and she came tonight and on Sunday and said, ‘Yes, you have done good. You got it.”’
Beatles fans at the packed premiere of “Lennon” agreed.
“I thought it was wonderful, fast-paced, great acting, great music. It was great,” said theater-goer Steve Divine.
“Lennon” is scheduled to play in San Francisco for a month before moving to Broadway for an extended run.