The Playgoer: "Lennon": Judgment Day

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Monday, August 15, 2005

"Lennon": Judgment Day

Let the pile-on begin. Mr Brantley has spoken:

In the immortal words of Yoko Ono, "Aieeeee!" A fierce primal scream - of the
kind Ms. Ono is famous for as a performance and recording artist - is surely the
healthiest response to the agony of "Lennon," the jerry-built musical shrine
that opened last night at the Broadhurst Theater.

Helen Shaw in the NY Sun (pay only) provides this frightening detail:
Her [Yoko's] presence overwhelms the man himself--by the end, a 25-foot-hight
cutout of her head literally looms in the background, pobably scaring the heck
out of the band.

I haven't bothered surveying the rest of the dailies. But, please, if you find any positive ones, post a link!

Prediction, and you heard it from Playgoer first: Yoko will pull one of those "Damn the Critics" campaigns and try to keep it running no matter what, in the great nutball tradition of David Merrick and Rosie O'Donnell. (Taboo, anyone?) Ticket & merchandise giveaways, a relentless pr offensive. Maybe Yoko will go into the show!

Barring any other developments, though, Playgoer is happy to cease his indulgence in the schadenfreude. (How can one resist.) In retrospect, this whole endeavor was probably not even worth the attention--especially again the actual respectful pre-show promotion from the Times. I think a Theatre page with taste has a right to say, "You know, this is a vanity project and we will not cover it as theatre, no matter what their press agent says. Let's use our ink for something more worthwhile." (But hey, I'm a blog, so I have all the ink I want.)

I leave the whole sad episode with just one final admonition: who ever thought anyone would want to listen to John Lennon's songs played by a Broadway pit orchestra? The truly sad thing is, we will surely see this kind of mistake again, in our lifetimes...

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