Most Australians know John Waters – whether it’s as Sgt McKeller, boat captain Brenton Edwards or his 20-year run on Play School.
But his most successful, and longest running role has been as John Lennon in Through A Glass Onion.
He devised the show in 1992 with esteemed singer-pianist Stewart D’Arrietta and performed it on a small stage at a hotel in Sydney.
It was an instant success, performing sell out shows at The Sydney Opera House and three-month run in London’s West End. The show will return to the US in May.
It has just played a 16-week season in New York, the spiritual home of Lennon, who lived in the city in the 1970s and was murdered there on December 8, 1980.
“To be embraced by New Yorkers as we were from October to January, this was a great reward for all of us who worked so hard to get our show there,” Waters says.
“It truly felt as though Glass Onion had in fact given the city what it needed, to reconcile their own sense of loss of a much loved ‘son’, as John Lennon came to be.
“Night after night, our audiences stood to acknowledge us, and it doesn't get much better than that.”
Waters plays at Wangaratta on Saturday, September 8.
“Its been fantastic the response the show is receiving, especially from the younger audiences that are coming along, some of whom were not even born when Lennon and The Beatles were recording and releasing their music,” Waters says
“It’s a testament to the legacy of the man and his music that still excites and intrigues people to this day.
“It never ceases to amaze us how many people still request to see the show … we’re constantly getting emails and messages asking when is the show coming back, so its great that the demand and interest is always there.”
Lennon: Through a Glass Onion is part concert and part biography. It features more than 30 Lennon and Lennon/McCartney songs, including Imagine, Strawberry Fields Forever, Revolution, Lucy In the Sky with Diamonds, All You Need is Love, Come Together, Help, Working Class Hero, Jealous Guy and more.
“The song Glass Onion was John Lennon’s postscript to The Beatles,” D’Arrietta says.
”It had such a strong image of crystal ball-gazing and peeling away the layers that it inspired the format for this show – a kaleidoscope collage of song, word, emotion and image.”