Music Article

Sometime in New York City

John Lennon's life will become a musical. Yoko Ono has given her blessing to the project, which will trace her late husband's story through 30 of his songs

Imagine all the people... paying $65 a seat. That's what may happen next year when a new musical about the life of John Lennon, featuring some 30 of his songs, opens on Broadway. Tentatively titled ''The Lennon Project,'' the musical has the blessing of Yoko Ono, Variety reports, and will be ready to raise its curtain during the 2004-05 season.

She's granted producers Edgar Lansbury and Don Scardino permission to use her late husband's solo catalog as they see fit. There won't be any Beatles songs in the show, though Lansbury and Scardino are negotiating with Beatles songwriting publisher Sony/ATV for the rights to ''Give Peace a Chance,'' on which Paul McCartney shared a songwriting credit.

Scardino, who's also directing the ''Project'' and cowriting the musical's book with Eric Overmyer, says the show won't be a traditionally plotted play. ''Our project is the story of Lennon as lightning rod and how he defined the time and how the times defined him,'' Scardino tells Variety. ''Lennon's changes corresponded to our generation: there was the rocker, the hippie, the meditation guru, the transcendentalist, the political revolutionary, the househusband, and all the while, there was the evolving artist.'' The producers will cast a different actor as each of these incarnations of Lennon, resulting in a show with 12 leads. Hey, just so long as there aren't any singing cats.

Originally posted Oct 15, 2003