Paul McCartney took on a different role in the Shakespearean play “Two Gentlemen From Verona” in a Simply Shakespeare benefit held Sept. 25 in Santa Monica.
McCartney played Elgamour in the play, which was done at the Broad Stage in Santa Monica, and also sang. Mim Flynn, a longtime listener of KLOS-FM Southern California “Breakfast of the Beatles” host Chris Carter, sent her account to him and he graciously sent it on to us. (You can see pictures in the slideshow, including a photo of the official cast list.)
“I just had to write about this!,” Mim Flynn said. “Sir Paul was on stage with script in hand for two solid hours! Yes he sang and yes he acted and was quite good actually. Paul opened the show with 'Live and Let Die' with Jackson Browne's band. Not the same as Rusty, Brian, etc., but he didn't seem to mind. 'Dress Me Up as a Robber' followed. OK! I think I was the only person in the venue who knew that song! Paul sang most of the songs with a microphone and sat on a stool like Frank Sinatra.
“The highlight was a duet with William Shatner revisiting and speaking his cheesy classic 'Lucy In The Sky (With Diamonds)' with Paul singing the refrain. The audience went wild. Paul also sang with no guitar but just a microphone for 'I Saw Her Standing There' with Christina Applegate gyrating center stage in a red dress until Martin Short had to jump in and upstage her by gyrating like Ed Grimley.
“What did this have to do with Shakespeare you might ask? Tom (Hanks) and Rita (Wilson) wanted to interject Paul's songs that related to Shakespearean scenes. Somehow it worked and you couldn't wait till the actors ended their scene so that Paul would pick up the mic and sing a song, then everyone on stage and in the audience would start singing and dancing.
“Another highlight: Paul and Christina Applegate had a love scene where she got out of control and started to kiss him all over his face ! He looked at her and said, 'Careful now. My wife is in the front row!' Christina unashamed turned to the audience and said 'YESSSS!!!' while jumping for joy!
“Anyway, Paul sang about seven more songs: 'Let It Be' with Jason Alexander and William Shatner attempting the harmonies, Tom Hanks jumping up and down while Paul sang 'Sgt. Pepper, and, of course, the usual conclusion of every concert 'The End' where everybody gets teary eyed including Val Kilmer who never stops chewing gum. He still thinks he's Ice! Anyway, I couldn't wait to share this unusual nite. And that's the news. Mim Flynn.”
(Courtesy of Chris Carter and written by Mim Flynn. Thanks to both of you.)
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