The cast of the Beatles play “Backbeat,” which is playing at the Ahmanson Theatre in Los Angeles through March 1, dedicated Sunday's performance to the memory of Beatles mentor Tony Sheridan, according to Gay Linville, who messaged us Monday.
“After the last song in the show-closing mini-concert with “Johnny B. Goode,” Andrew Knott, who plays John Lennon, announced to the audience "We'd like to dedicate this performance to the memory of Tony Sheridan. Thank you!"
The role of Astrid Kirchherr in the play is played by Leanne Best, who's the niece of former Beatle Pete Best and daughter of brother Roag Best. Linville said she stood behind Andrew and hooted approval with emotion. Sheridan was a friend of the Best family.
“The play includes a scene that depicts the recording of 'My Bonnie' with Tony, so perhaps the real Tony was somehow there yesterday, too,” she said.
Sheridan's obituary was posted by the propmaster, Beatle fan Stan Steelmon, before the performance. Most members of the cast and creative team read it and paid tribute.
A soundtrack CD for “Backbeat” was recently released by Rhino Records. The actors who played three of the principal roles of the Beatles in London and now in the Los Angeles show – Knott, Daniel Healy (Paul McCartney) and Oliver Bennett (Pete Best) – sing and play on the CD.
The album features five Lennon-McCartney originals and 15 songs covered by the Beatles either live or on record, including “My Bonnie,” which was originally done with Tony Sheridan. Other songs include “Twist and Shout,” “Money,” “Bad Boy,” “Slow Down, “I'm a Roadrunner,” “Twenty Flight Rock” and a medley of “Blue Moon of Kentucky”/(“We're Gonna Hang Out) The Washing on the Siegfried Line”/”(How Much Is That) Doggie in the Window.”
The group performs the songs in a youthful spirit that will remind listeners of what the Beatles did back then without being over imitating. The version of "My Bonnie," however, features an opening vocal that closely resembles Sheridan's vocal.
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