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Ears on a Beatle

Twenty/twenty hindsight is always helpful when you’re deciphering who might be a safety threat to America and why. In retrospect, the FBI’s surveillance of rock legend John Lennon seems like a waste of time and taxpayer money, though a case could still be made that among his fans and worshipers lay radicals far more dangerous than the former Beatle (e.g., if only the FBI had followed the Beach Boys’ activities more closely, tabs might’ve been kept on their wild-eyed-songwriter friend, Charlie Manson). And of course, the clear irony in Mark St. Germain’s two-hander, EARS ON A BEATLE, is that for all the government’s efforts to protect America from John Lennon, they couldn’t protect John Lennon from America. It’s a workable theme, and St. Germain uses the professional friendship between a blue-collar operative, who eventually learns to appreciate Lennon, and a hippie newbie, whose lifestyle takes a sharp “right” turn as the years pass, to explore many sides of the issue.

OPENING NIGHT: March 28, 2004