Backbeat

“Backbeat,” a musical about the origins of the Beatles, will have its American premiere at the Ahmanson Theater in Los Angeles Jan. 16 and is expected to move to Broadway, the Center Theater Group, which runs the Ahmanson, has announced.

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“Love is larger than we imagine. It’s a life changer. I think there was this potent male love there between John and Stuart. But how do the sands of that love sift? It’s hard to say. Sometimes love won’t settle in a named category, but it’s certainly around, and how could it not be sensual and sexual?”

“(Backbeat) is not vacuously celebratory. It’s a brilliant story about overcoming all kinds of things in life. It’s about courage and daring to love well.  That’s a campfire we can all gather around…”  Director David Leveaux, nominated for five Tony Awards

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At the heart of the play is the powerful relationship between John Lennon and “forgotten” Beatle Stuart Sutcliffe, and Sutcliffe’s romance with German photographer Astrid Kirchherr….Many will attend the performance for the Beatles songs; they won’t be disappointed….

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Liverpool Love

Liverpool Love is a unique Art exhibition raising money for charity. The exhibition culminates in an auction from which 90% of the profits will go to Claire House Children’s Hospice and the remaining 10% will go to the National Museum’s Liverpool.

liverpoollove.org/

liverpoollove.org/stuart-sutcliffe/

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ABOUT THE RETROSPECTIVE / BRACEWELL WRITES ABOUT STUART

“The importance of this latest retrospective of his work, entitled ‘Stuart Sutcliffe: Retrospective’, curated by Colin Fallows and Matthew H. Clough, and of the substantial accompanying publication, lies in their scholarly review of his art on a strictly art-historical basis. A concise and revealingly chosen selection of work, from charmingly vivacious juvenilia made when Sutcliffe was still a pupil at Prescot Grammar School, through to the last big ‘black’ paintings that he was working on at the time of his death, makes a potent and persuasive case for a major reassessment of the artist’s legacy”.

“All oils on canvas, the surfaces of these paintings possess a near mineralogical density, as though charred matter in roughly tessellating patterns had become encrusted over the red underpainting, traces of which appear to burn through the compositions like glowing embers. In their presence, one felt that had Sutcliffe lived, his future as an artist of note –or perhaps of considerable importance – was already assured.”

Michael Bracewell
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Matthew Clough, Director of the University’s Art and Heritage Collections, said: “Sutcliffe is recognised world-wide as the ‘fifth Beatle’, but this exhibition will illustrate that he was an artist first and a musician second.  Sutcliffe sadly died from a brain haemorrhage at the age of 21, but for someone who died so young, he produced a profound body of work that charts a very full and successful life.”

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“The portraits of Stuart Sutcliffe and Astrid Kirchherr, at the very beginning of the book, happened to have a rather ceremonial feel about them—as well as being very much portraits of youth, illustrating essays that are both concerned with the condition of youth above all.”  Micheal Bracewell / The Space Between, Ridinghouse Publications

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Samantha Smith, who picked up the coveted Stuart Sutcliffe Award upon completing her degree, has been commissioned to dress the windows of the world-famous Bergdorf Goodman store as part of New York Fashion Week.

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