christine~ (eppylover) wrote,

Latest Review of "LENNON" Musical

eppylover preface:
Don't get me wrong -- I thoroughly believe that, in Brian Epstein's absence, Yoko Ono was the perfect partner for him, with a May Pang or whoever else on the side.

COME ON, you ...and she... KNOW he messed around, it was hardwired in his permanent programming! Yoko just doesn't want people to realize it because it makes her look bad.

Be she good or bad (I feel she was both), to John she was his heaven on earth. No doubt about that.

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Yoko was also much more commercially/socially acceptable than Brian because she possessed female organs. I feel that John was attracted to the mind, not a set of organs. Any type would do (as you can plainly see by the nude cover of the Two Virgins album); his ultimate orgasm was the joining of minds when they made love. According to John himself, he loved her because she was himself "in drag." And, better than with Brian, there was none of the stigma of appearing to be a "fairy" to other people.

IMHO, I feel Brian loved him more than Yoko ever could. But that's just my analysis -- your mileage may vary.

With Yoko, "a crowd of people stood and stared," and viewed him as being ridden by an emasculating dragon lady. That was unfair, but John acted indignant and defended her rather than hide his love for her like he did with Brian ... people thinking he was being pussywhipped was preferable to people thinking he was a queer. Very nice, Lennon.

Damaged forever by the early stripping away of parental units, John was constantly consumed by this need for mothering/fathering.

And, in the heart of
John Lennon the emotionally messed-up adult,
to be controlled =equalled= motherfatherlove.

That is, to control him was, to some extent, to provide him with the parental nurturing he was denied earlier.

Brian filled that need the best. He became the only one who was trusted to have any say in how John presented himself, and what the group did, etc. etc. John, perhaps subconsciously sensing an inequity in their personal dynamics, admits he controlled Eppy, using booze and drugs to soften/open him up, eventually leading to his most powerful method of leverage -- Sex.

John implies to us that he used the power of a possible sexual encounter to sway Brian, and this balance apparently worked. John doesn't deny but evades the issue of actual sex. Evidence is more and more pointing toward the probability of multiple erotic encounters, judging from every new revelation in the lives of the boys and their devoted manager. The book being written by Brian's secretary and confidante, Joanne Newfield Petersen -- yes, she's "not telling" who Brian's Beatle shag was, but gimme a break! we know -- will inform us that the Brian/John power liaison endured until the time of Brian's death.

John not only lost his manager and friend, but also lost his fave power f*k.

Enter Yoko. And John&Yoko live happily ever after, until his murder.


Now, Yoko and friends come out with a new Bio-Musical called LENNON. That's good, that's fine, because we understand that it's written as Yoko saw their life through her eyes. Ohh, there will be the uninitiated who will watch it and think that's the way it really was through everyone's eyes as well. Ah. That's neither here nor there.

However --
And, as is usual with the Eppylover -- with this, as in any and all Beatle-related matters, I am disappointed mainly by the short shrift given the Beatle-maker.
Although, and I am sad to have to admit this, I am surprised he is mentioned at all ... but it is merely an "effete glimpse," as the reviewer says:

"Terrence Mann is mostly wasted
in passing bits,
such as an effete* glimpse
of Beatles manager Brian Epstein."
Terrence Mann's pic and bio

Please read the definition of "effete" at the bottom of this page.
I am appalled and insulted on behalf of this great man!

Hard to imagine

Monday, August 15, 2005
Star-Ledger Staff

NEW YORK -- It's a sure sign a Broadway musical is in trouble when the cast urges viewers to clap along with a catchy song and very few do.

Such is the dispirited case of "Lennon," a new bio-musical about John Lennon that uses nearly 30 of his songs and yet fails somehow to generate sufficient excitement about the man and his music.

Opening yesterday at the Broadhurst Theatre, "Lennon" isn't an awful show -- it's just a curiously flat one.

Perhaps the problem stems from the unexpected skew of writer-director Don Scardino's production. It's likely some fans will be annoyed to discover that Lennon's amazing times as a Beatle are hurriedly sketched in, when his subsequent years as Yoko Ono's troubled consort are fulsomely detailed.

"Twist and Shout" illustrates a scarcely five-minute capsule of the Beatles' global triumphs in their entirety, but the subsequent "Ballad of John and Yoko" goes on seemingly forever.

A hard-working ensemble of nine talented performers -- male and female alike -- intermittently portray Lennon in a I-am-he-as-you-are-he-as-you-are-me-and-we-are-all-together manner. They easily hand off his character among themselves by donning Lennon's eyeglasses, Liverpool accents and amused attitude.

Only one performer, however, is assigned to the role of Ono, whose depiction here is certainly reverential, if not downright saintly.

One suspects that the Widow Lennon, who controls the songwriter's catalog, laid out the route that this show takes. No doubt Ono believes that Lennon's association with her forms the most significant portion of his life. Yet it's a debatable point.

In any case, the show's first half-hour or so accounts for Lennon's pre-Ono existence: working-class upbringing, his mother's tragic death, meeting Paul McCartney and forming a group, his first marriage to Cynthia, incredible fame and fortune with the Beatles. The remaining 100 minutes suggests an "A&E Biography" episode with songs -- and with Ono wielding the remote.

Scardino stages the production in a concert-style format. A 10-member band arrayed across the rear of the stage provides cover versions of Lennon's material. A triptych of projection screens ceaselessly discloses documentary footage and arty imagery.

Dressed in casual street clothes, the ensemble throws on small costume pieces over their jeans to portray various figures. Will Chase and Chad Kimball offer the most persuasive turns as Lennon. Julie Danao-Salkin is a cool, collected Ono. Terrence Mann is mostly wasted in passing bits, such as an effete glimpse of Beatles manager Brian Epstein. Chuck Cooper's deep, burnished baritone is the vocal standout, although Marcy Harriell nearly busts a gut dishing up several strident numbers from the songwriter's "Power to the People" days.

A show that never manages to catch fire despite its potent material, "Lennon" proves to be neither a successful exercise in Baby Boomer nostalgia nor a probing look at a legend.

© 2005 The Star-Ledger. Used by with permission.

Article is copied from this article

According to -
  1. Depleted of vitality, force, or effectiveness; exhausted: the final, effete period of the baroque style.
  2. Marked by self-indulgence, triviality, or decadence: an effete group of self-professed intellectuals.
  3. Overrefined; effeminate.
  4. No longer productive; infertile.


adj : marked by excessive self-indulgence and moral decay; "a decadent life of excessive money and no sense of responsibility"; "a group of effete self-professed intellectuals" [syn: decadent]


I find any of these definitions to be unfair and offensive.

Yes indeed, with excruciating self-hate and guilt, the "overrefined?" and (out of the public eye) "effeminate" (I prefer "flamboyant") Brian Epstein obsessively indulged in "a decadent life" on the side, but DOES ONO REALIZE HOW FREAKIN HARD BRIAN PUSHED HIMSELF WHEN HIS BOYS NEEDED HIM?

I am very, very curious as to what offensively "effete" extent my Brian is being portrayed in the LENNON musical.

Undoubtedly anyone who complains will be viewed as "anti-Yoko."

I'm not anti-Yoko.

To some extent I'm Yoko-ambivalent,

but mostly I'm Yoko-indifferent.

My reference source for most of my above opinionated blather are Jann Wenner's Playboy Magazine interviews and his Lennon Remembers book.


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