Lennon and McCartney together again at the Majestic
By Katelyn Gendron
Reminder Assistant Editor
WEST SPRINGFIELD -- Danny Eaton, producing director and founder of the non-profit Majestic Theater, is always thinking ahead.
As theatergoers enjoy the Beatles-inspired "John & Paul," the Majestic's last show of the 2008-09 season opening April 16, Eaton has long since mapped out lucky season 13.
"It has been a very successful year, given the economy," he said. "Our subscriber base had a spike this year and the shows have been selling really well. We've seen a lot of new faces [in the audience] this year, which is a great sign going into next year."
Eaton was quick to point out that his need to plan ahead has not made him neglect his direction of the ongoing run of "John & Paul."
The production is a musical that chronicles the lives of Beatles icons John Lennon and Paul McCartney, featuring original music by Steven Shecter with music direction by Mitch Chakour.
"'John & Paul' originally began with Steve Shecter's music," Eaton explained. "Through it, I felt as if I were 'seeing' Lennon and McCartney from a slightly different tangent than the millions and millions of published words and recorded music. That was the beginning of my involvement and input.
"Then I thought about all the hoopla around a hoped-for Beatles reunion," he continued. "Were it not for Lennon getting killed, I do believe there would have been a reunion.
"For this story, it was really about McCartney being cheated out of the chance to reunite with John, his best friend in the world," Eaton said. "The narrator of this play, Charlie, has suffered a significant loss also. So, loss is at the center of it all but it's about what people do as a result of loss, and what they create."
Chakour explained that the show does not feature Beatles music but will have the same "intensity" of a rock concert.
"There's some volume associated with this show -- it's not a quiet musical," he said. "It's got some rockin' moments."
"John & Paul" will run through May 24. Tickets are between $19 and $27 and can be ordered by calling the box office at 747-7997.
Eaton noted that brochures have just been printed showcasing the Majestic's 13th season, which will include "The Porch," a comedy by Jack Neary; "Piecemeal," a musical prequel to Mary Shelley's novel "Frankenstein," written by Howard Odentz; and "Almost, Maine," a four-character play about northern exposure by John Cariani.
"Almost, Maine" will be followed by "A Man for All Seasons," the true story of Patron Saint Thomas More, the chancellor of England who was beheaded for his refusal to endorse King Henry VIII's divorce to Catherine of Aragon because of his Christian principles, written by Robert Bolt.
Season 13 will close with "The Fantasticks," the musical written by Tom Jones, with music written by Harvey Schmidt.
For more information about the Majestic Theater, visit www.majestictheater.com
The following performance schedule for "John and Paul":
April 16: Opening night at 7:30 p.m.
April 17 - 18: 8 p.m. curtains
April 19: 2 p.m. curtain
April 22: 7 p.m. curtain
April 23: 7:30 p.m. curtain
April 24 - 25: 8 p.m. curtains
April 26: 2 p.m. curtain
April 29: 7 p.m. curtain
April 30: 7:30 p.m. curtain
May 1 - 2: 8 p.m. curtains
May 3: 2 and 7 p.m. curtains
May 6: 7 p.m. curtain
May 7: 7:30 p.m. curtain
May 8 - 9: 8 p.m. curtains
May 10: 2 and 7 p.m. curtains
May 13: 7 p.m. curtain
May 14: 7:30 p.m. curtain and a talkback with the cast following show.
May 15 - 16: 8 p.m. curtains
May 17: 2 p.m. curtain
May 20: 7 p.m. curtain
May 21: 7:30 p.m. curtain and a talkback with the cast following show
May 22 - 23: 8 p.m. curtains
May 24: Closing performance at 2 p.m.