John's tribute to Lennon, looking through a glass onion
IN 1992, John Waters and Stewart D'Arrietta took to the small stage at the Tilbury Hotel, in Woolloomooloo, Sydney, with their debut production of Lennon: Looking Through a Glass Onion.
What was a one-week booking sold out and extended into a six-week, season, and 25 years later it sis still on stage, back in Australia following a 16-week season in New York.
The theatrical event was re-produced and rebranded for its Off-Broadway debut at the Union Square Theatre.
The show is not a cut-and-paste biography of Lennon or an emulation of the original recordings.
Waters said he shies away from imitating the artist, but so emotive is his performance, it lulls the audience into believing anything is possible.
"The song Glass Onion was John Lennon's postscript to The Beatles," he said.
"It had such a strong image of crystal ball-gazing and peeling away the layers that it inspired the format for this show - a kaleidoscope collage of song, word, emotion and image," D'Arrietta said.
It's part concert and part biography, though it doesn't seek to tell the full story of Lennon's life.
"This show is unique, because it takes people on a journey. It's much more than what they expect," added Waters.
"They are locked in for the next hour-and-a-half. I get a very big reaction at the end from people. They say it's unlike anything they have seen before.
"It never ceases to amaze us how many people still request to see the show, even after our last lengthy tour, we're constantly getting emails and messages asking when is the show coming back, so it's great that the demand and interest is always there."
With 31 songs performed including A Day in the Life, Strawberry Fields Forever, Revolution, Lucy In the Sky with Diamonds, Woman, Jealous Guy and Imagine, this is a show for all ages.
"It's been fantastic the response the show is receiving, especially from the younger audiences that are coming along, some of whom were not even born when Lennon and The Beatles were recording and releasing their music.
"It's a testament to the legacy of the man and his music that still excites and intrigues people to this day."
- At the Byron Bay Theatre, 69 Jonson St, Byron Bay, this Friday and Saturday . For details visit byroncentre.com.au or call (02) 6685 6807.