Los Angeles
August 20, 2011

Just as Sir Paul McCartney threatens to erode the legend of the Beatles by being perhaps too accessible, a most welcome accessibility has surfaced in Los Angeles with Tim Piper’s raw and inspired performance as John Lennon in “Just Imagine,” currently playing weekends at the Hayworth Theater through October 9, 2011 (Lennon’s birthday).

An uncanny look-alike for John Lennon, Piper brings the multi faceted Beatle back to life, giving him an opportunity to explain himself and tell us what was in his heart and mind during those crazy days of Beatlemania and beyond.

Piper has Lennon down to a T, even making a very familiar facial gesture that was a favorite of the Beatle. But by no means is he some Las Vegas impersonator. This show feels like a theater performance, a one man psycho drama if you will, featuring some of the greatest pop and rock songs of the 20th Century.

With powerful projected images behind him, Piper starts the evening by taking us back to Lennon’s early years where the loss of Lennon’s mother and later his best friend, Stuart Sutcliffe are discussed. He delves into many aspects of Lennon’s life, talking candidly about his mistakes and screw ups. His neglect of first son Julian. His heroin use in the 80’s. About the hate hurled at the love of his life, Yoko Ono, not only by his best friends, the Beatles, but the world at large. It really hurt, Piper as Lennon explains.

John Lennon’s pain was our gain, for it inspired an amazing catalogue of songs that may outlive us all. “Just Imagine” has a rocking soundtrack to accompany Lennon’s story.

A particularly great touch was the start of the second act where, Piper wanders through the audience with just his acoustic guitar, singing Lennon songs, even taking requests, making us really feel as if the real John Lennon was walking among us. It actually feels like that throughout the entire show and even beyond when Piper and the band join the audience in the lobby for a meet and greet and a glass of wine after the curtain call. Piper is never out of character and it truly becomes a night of peace and love, just the way Lennon would have wanted it.

For anyone who is a fan of the Beatles and their music, “Just Imagine” is a must see. Tim Piper channels John Lennon and the results are simply amazing.

Directed by Steve Altman and featuring Greg Piper on bass, Don Butler on guitar, Don Poncher on drums and Morley Bartnoff on keyboards, Tim Piper’s “Just Imagine” plays Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays at the Hayworth Theater, 2511 Wilshire Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90057

We give this show: **** (four stars)

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