Working Class Hero.
Just Imagine: The Legend Returns
Presented by True Rock Theatre
From the audience reaction alone, you might think that John Lennon himself had descended from the heavens to spend an evening at the Hayworth Theatre on Wilshire to perform the hit musical Just Imagine.
The premise is that Lennon is coming back for one last concert and, in doing so, also tells us his story of the birth of the Beatles, his marriages, his political activism, raising his sons, lots of tidbits we might not know. “The guitar’s all very well, John, but you'll never make a living out of it,” a teenage Lennon’s aunt told him. He takes us from childhood abandonment in Liverpool to the last years in the Dakota in New York City, with a few dozen classic songs and several engaging monologues along the journey.
The audience was totally, utterly, thoroughly enthralled by Tim Piper’s portrayal of John Lennon, from his Beatle boots to his Nehru jacket. Even though the theatre seats were bolted to the floor, the house was shaking from the first song to the last. I swear to you on a stack of declassified documents that this is not exaggeration. People were singing, clapping and toe tapping, all much more difficult to do in a packed house with seating meant for sitting still and acting one’s age. And this audience didn’t just know the words, they knew all the harmonies.
While the look-alike sound-alike and highly personable Piper worked his ass off in this one-man show, his four-piece band kept pace with Greg Piper on bass, Mortley Bartnoff on keyboards, Don Poncher on drums, and Don Butler handling lead guitar. Even though Tim Piper (who also wrote and produced) is quite a proficient guitarist himself, this man is busy.
He conducted a few sing-alongs, took impromptu requests from the audience and engaged in a little conversation, as well (prepare your Lennon-centric song choice ahead of time because I suffered a cataclysmic brain fog and could only think of Blackbird. Wrong.). At the close of the show, the audience members who weren’t leading the standing ovation rushed up to shake his hand or get a quick photo. Now that’s the real deal.
Don’t just imagine going, make it happen. You can reserve your tickets through Plays411 by calling 323-960-4442 or by clicking here.
Where (click link for map):
Adjacent parking lot, about $5
Now through Sunday, May 29
Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m.
Sundays at 3 p.m.
Running time is about 90 minutes with no intermission
Range from $35 to $60
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