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John Lennon mocks an audience member’s mistake with a vintage mix of wit and scorn; Paul McCartney flaunts his facility for pop melody by tossing off a catchy tune on a moment’s notice, only to face bitter mutterings from George Harrison for his glibness. Ringo Starr…well, Ringo was there. It takes a certain chutzpah to play a Beatle on stage. Dave Jay goes not one, but three steps further. In his quirky and unique solo show johnpaulgeorgeringo, Jay plays each of the Fab Four, fielding questions from audiences at a faux press conference. John and George even talk about their deaths and incidents that occurred afterwards.

The show’s first major exposure came at last year’s New York International Fringe Festival; Jay’s magical mystery tour then took him to the historic Cavern Club in Liverpool and back to New York at several locales, including an extended run at the Huron Club in the SoHo Playhouse. Jay also records original pop songs and children’s music while performing singing telegrams and managing a doctor’ s practice to pay the bills. The voices come rather naturally,” says Jay, 40, though he jokes he now talks to himself in a British accent. He initially conceived of a show about Lennon, but while work shopping it in an acting class at Sally Johnson Studio, his flair for multiple voices and deep knowledge of the Beatles’ saga prompted his teacher, Brad Calcaterra, to push Jay to expand the show. Calcaterra is credited as both co-creator and director. He also emphasized audience interaction. “He felt improv was one of my greatest strengths,” Jay says. can do certain set bits and I have specific songs that I do, but each show is unique.”

Jay appeals both to hardcore and casual fans, providing intimate details of the Beatles’ careers. After
initial resistance he has added Beatles songs to his performance, both to please the expectant audiences and to set up related stories. His impersonations are more than just vocal distinctions. Jay captures the angle at which the severely nearsighted Lennon held his head, and the hair-tossing and other charming-while-insecurity-revealing bits of McCartney’s body language. Although Jay says McCartney’s was the most challenging” to nail down, his evocation is now spot on. His Harrison occasionally slips, though the jealousy, wariness and spiritual longing are all nailed perfectly. As in real life, Starr is the least compelling, and Jay’s impression sometimes sounds more like Dan Ackroyd doing Richard Nixon. Jay takes his show to Louisville in May for the Abbey Road on the River Festival and hopes to continue performing not only in New York but also around the country. For this ardent Beatles fan, “it is just a thrill to keep them alive for people who love them as much as I do.”

TimeOut – New York

It takes a fair amount of charisma to carry a one-man show; to do so while impersonating four iconic rock stars is an especially tall order. In johnpaulgeorgeringo, Dave Jay does just that, seamlessly morphing into all four Beatles and reproducing their most memorable mannerisms. The show is driven by audience questions, which range from the superficial (” Tell us about those haircuts”) to the provocative (” John, tell us about the day you died” ), allowing the performer to dig into a wide range of monologues. Jay has clearly prepared for virtually any question, and he is also engaging when he occasionally performs a Beatles tune. johnpaulgeorgeringo is thoroughly entertaining and a must-see for Beatles fans.

If you could spend an hour in a room with the Beatles, what would you want to ask them? Dave Jay’s improvised performance piece subtitled “an intimate experience with the fab four” offers Fringe-goers a chance to experience this fantasy. Letting the audience lead the performance, Jay uses his voice, facial expressions and imagination and conjures each of the Beatles to respond to our questions. The experience is as fun as a ride on a yellow submarine.

Jay is a generous performer who respects his inspiration but is also willing to poke affectionate fun at their personalities. From what I could see he is ready to respond to any question that comes his way, and if he seemed a little nervous at the beginning of his opening night show, once the Q-and-A started flowing he found his stride.

Of the Fab Four, his voice, body, and quirky imagination seem most vividly to sit with George Harrison, who observes the past from a spiritual if sometimes cranky distance. He describes how the smells and sounds of India influenced his music and contemplates the ontological importance of an onstage teapot, but it stilI ruffles his feathers that Paul kept much of his contributions off the records. Ringo comes across as fun and heartfelt, and gets the many laughs of the evening. Question: What did you have that Pete Best didn’ t? Ringo: A job.

Of the entire group, Jay’s evocation of Paul McCartney feels the least specific. The bouncy head and high voice didn’t help me picture McCartney in the room. Still, I loved it when Paul postulated an earnest response as to whether he believes that we all live in a yellow submarine. And when speaking about today’s popular music, Paul made a self-centered but sincere argument that he invented hiphop! Jay looks the most like John Lennon, who takes himself seriously and talks to us with intense focus. When asked about his sex life with Yoko, John wasn’t suffering fools. But later in the evening, reflecting on losing his life and not being able to watch his sons grow up, Jay/John expressed a tender, regretful acceptance of his Ioss that went far beyond parlor tricks.

Occasionally, Jay breaks from the talkback format to sing his own songs. He doesn’t have rights to perform Beatles songs, but justifies it well when one of the bands shrewdly quips, “We don’t own our music anymore.” Jay’s tunes are sweet, and seem like they may be inspired by the Beatles; but it’ s very tough for any song to get its fair due with all the focus on, arguably, some of the best popular music ever written.

This piece relies in large part on its audience to provide a steady stream of interesting questions, and the opening night audience did just that. Director and co-creator Brad Calcaterra has helped Jay be ready for anything and to find a distinct vocal and rhythmic energy for each man. Stylist Maria Cullalti provides the iconic Beatle haircut that transfers across all the guys I’d just request a little trim across the bangs. One performance issue still needs to be addressed: who is he when he’s NOT speaking for one of the Beatles? Jay doesn’t speak in his own voice, but in between the questions, there’s a drop in energy and it feels like no one’s in charge. During these breaks, small but frequent, the momentum halts and the press conference structure starts to wear thin. Clearly, each show and audience will bring its own rhythm, but it seems as if the concept works best when Jay gives more time to provide expansive answers, and the occasional moments where the Beatles start talking (or quipping) with each other are great fun. If you’ re a Beatles fan and go to this intimate rock-and-roll event armed with some provocative questions, you may experience your own magical mystery tour.

PRLog press release

Improvised, interactive, and impromptu one man show debuts at Fringe NYC. The Fab Four will reunite for an evening of truth, tunes, and trivia during the 11th annual New York International Fringe Festival August 8th through the 24th. Can’t miss! johnpaulgeorgeringo will make its Fringe NYC debut this weekend. Performer Dave Jay morphs between four distinct characterizations of the Beatles to perform songs, divulge little known Beatles trivia, and answer audience questions. New to the Festival this year, the johnpaulgeorgeringo show features NYC native Dave Jay, who seamlessly morphs between distinct impersonations of The Beatles to take the audience on a unique magical mystery exploration.

johnpaulgeorgeringo is a unique one man show that combines historical fact and emotional truth. Completely improvised by Dave Jay, audience members guide the show with questions and requests for their favorite Beatle, such as “John, what was it like working with Phil Spector?” and “Paul, what was your inspiration for ‘Yesterday’ ?” Armed with an astonishing amount of knowledge about the Fab Four and an unmistakable Liverpudlian accent, Dave Jay responds, morphing between John, Paul, George, and Ringo and performing impromptu songs on his acoustic guitar. johnpaulgeorgeringo is a must-see show for Beatles fans.