Thursday, April 6, 2017

A fab act

This is something I saw for the first time a couple of days ago. The Beatles performing a panto skit based on the "Pyramus and Thisbe" play-within-a-play from Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream. In a way they're all what you'd expect them to be. Paul is knowingly cute. John hams up the drag part. George has sung onstage but forgets that he needs to project. Ringo comes alive in an animal part.

It's the background that makes it so interesting. They had debuted about a month before on The Ed Sullivan Show, sending them from thriving regional pop act to global rock stars. Not too surprisingly TV producers came to them for help in celebrating Shakespeare's 400th birthday. And yet at this point they're not too big. The audience heckles them, and what's interesting is they expect to be heckled, take it in stride.

That's a rare sight, especially when you consider in a little over two years they'd retire from the road and embark on a new hermit stage of fame.


susan said...

That was a very good find and very funny too (did the guy who played the wall get any credit?).

It's pretty astonishing to consider how much they did and the changes they went through in just about a decade. It's also amazing to consider just how young they were when the whole thing began.

Come to think of it, it's even more remarkable for me to remember just how young I was back then.

Ben said...

Yeah, I looked for information on the other people featured in the sketch, but couldn't find any. Even the guy introducing them, who seems like he should be a big deal. Curious.

They did get very big very young, which must have been disorienting even as it's what they had been trying to make happen.

You? You're still young.