NY Theater Review: Sandi Durell


When the Beatles arrived on the American scene in 1964 they changed the face and sound of music forever. The shaggy haired foursome John, Paul, George and Ringo have, and will always be, musical icons. But it was John Lennon and Paul McCartney who wrote the songs.

British born, Australian based John R. Waters (actor-musician) adored the Fab Four, to the degree that he needed more and so, with Stewart D’Arrietta on piano, they created “Lennon: Through a Glass Onion” which has successfully toured worldwide bringing songs and spoken word about Lennon’s life – his essence.

Currently at the Union Square Theatre, Waters (dressed in black) with guitar in hand, sings 31 songs including the more well known, i.e. “All You Need Is Love” – “Come Together” – “Help” – “Imagine” – Nowhere Man” – “Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds” and more, along with the obscure “Glass Onion” – “I’m Only Sleeping” – “Jealous Guy” – “Isolation.”

(Curtain Call Photos)








In a spotlight on a bare stage, except for piano, and some occasional smoke (scenic-lighting design Anthony ‘Bazz’ Barrett), the show opens as shots ring out, taking us back to 1980 when Lennon was killed outside the Dakota. What follows are musical memories in which the audience can revel and remember the songs that are part of our musical history.

Between songs there is running dialog giving an informational timeline about the life and times of Lennon; meeting Yoko, drinking and drugs, deportation, birth of son Sean and, again, the final shot.

D’Arrietta is a standout on piano as his fingers fly brilliantly across the keys in any style, also harmonizing with Waters.

This biographical concert celebrates Lennon’s genius and Waters does not impersonate but makes every effort, as he says, “to evoke Lennon’s honesty, bitter-sweet humor, self criticism and disdain for pomposity.”

get-attachment-7.aspxYes, this is “Strawberry Fields Forever.”  It’s not the most inspired of evenings, but it will play on your nostalgia strings.

“Lennon: Through a Glass Onion” at The Union Square Theater, 100 East 17th Street, NYC 800-982-2787 www.LennonOnStage.com

*Photos: Joan Marcus

Opening Night Photos: JK Clarke