Monday, January 26, 2009

"I consider that my work won't be finished until I am dead and buried, and I hope that's a long, long time."
- John Lennon, December 8, 1980

J&Y Photo: David Spindel


(Just Like) Starting Over by Steven Roseta candidly portrays John Lennon’s final interview on December 8th 1980, just hours prior to his tragic murder. Meticulously researched and elegantly written, this three-person play will leave audiences feeling that they may know Lennon on a genuinely personal, and profound level.

The play is both compelling to watch, and historically authentic. It is largely based upon an unpublished interview with John Lennon and Yoko Ono on that fateful day.

John had just emerged from a five year sabbatical and was poised to make a triumphant comeback on the music scene with the recent release of Double Fantasy, a new album created in collaboration with Yoko. John talks about his music, baking bread, being a father, politics, war, his relationship with Yoko, feminism, and ironically death.

(Just Like) Starting Over is not a multi-year retrospective about a rock icon from afar, nor is it a musical. Rather, it is an up close and first person experience with the flawed and brilliant human being who was John Lennon, in his own words and without outside interpretation.

This dialogue rich play is
au naturale in its presentation, and is intended to make audiences feel like a 'fly on the wall' inside the Lennon's quarters in the Dakota, New York’s landmark apartment building, on the last day of his life.


John Lennon: Age 40, about 5’10”, and slim. He wears a black leather jacket, a red t-shirt under a blue sweater, blue jeans, and black boots.

Yoko Ono: Age 47, and petite. Her hair is jet black and tied back. She is dressed in black and wears dark wraparound sunglasses.

Interviewer: He is an accomplished radio interviewer in his late thirties.

The entire play occurs in Yoko Ono’s office in the Dakota. There is a desk & swivel chair, two additional guest chairs, and a sofa. Atop Yoko’s desk sits a tape recorder, a microphone, a notepad, and a telephone/intercom.


Images and music (from Double Fantasy) are used on a limited basis in support of the stage dialogue.


Seattle Public Theater at the Bathhouse on Green Lake staged the world premiere of (Just Like) Starting Over, September 6-17, 2006. Presented by director James Veitch, this remarkable production moved and inspired theater audiences, Lennon fans, and stage critics alike.

“A big thanks to director James Veitch, a virtual walking encyclopedia of John Lennon information, for coming all the way from England to take the controls of this marvelous production.”
– Steve Wright, Producer of (Just Like) Starting Over

“Can an afternoon interview with a doomed rock star be transformed into a two-act play? If the author is local playwright Steven Roseta and David Natale is playing John Lennon, the answer is yes.”
–Seattle Times, John Hartl

“… a glimpse of the future that was never fulfilled.”
– KUOW 94.9 (NPR), John Moe

“… a full expression of what Lennon had to say at the end of his life”
–Seattle Sound Magazine, Shelley Germeaux

“(Just Like) Starting Over explores the multiplicity of Lennon's character while inviting the audience to draw their own conclusions.”
– North Seattle Herald-Outlook, Sean Molnar

Dave Natale as John Lennon. Naho Shioya as Yoko Ono. Brian Upton as the interviewer. Producer: Steve Wright. Director: James Veitch. Co-producer: Melanie King.

Support for the World Premiere 

Seattle’s Music Community. Three all-star rock concerts accompanied and supported (Just Like) Starting Over. The first “John Lennon Jam” took place at Seattle’s Crocodile Cafe on the 25th anniversary of John Lennon's death on December 8th 2005, followed by two sold-out encore performances on September 1st 2006 at Seattle Public Theater. A specially assembled band of Seattle rock veterans, fronted by Rick Lovrovich, performed John Lennon’s classic Beatles tunes and solo music to captivated audiences. There were special guest performances by Alan White, legendary drummer for Yes and John Lennon’s renowned Imagine album. Proceeds from these concerts helped fund the production of the play.

Bumbershoot. A thirty-minute excerpt of the play debuted at Seattle’s Bumbershoot Music and Arts festival on September 2nd 2006.

Yoko Ono. Yoko Ono granted permission to utilize interviews, art, and music for (Just Like) Starting Over.

Photo Exhibit. An original photo exhibition by David Spindel of John Lennon's last recording session was on display in the lobby of Seattle Public Theater from September 1-17, 2006.

Fender® Guitar Giveaway. Audience members had the chance enter a drawing for a brand new electric guitar, donated by Fender®, and given away at the end of the run on September 17th, 2006.

Additional Support. KZOK Classic Rock 102.5 FM, Experience Music Project, Seattle Sound Magazine, KUOW 94.9 NPR, MacTechs, Chris Hopkins Art, Ludeman Capital Management, Inc., Law Offices of Cowan Miller and Lederman, Seattle Dramatists, Market Optical. 


“Just Like) Starting Over provides an engaging and respectful memorial both to Lennon's creative genius and his average-guy generosity of spirit.”
– Seattle Weekly, Richard Morin

“Lennon speaks of devastation and exaltation. The devastation comes when he realizes that he needs, absolutely needs, Ono. The exaltation comes with a recollection of visiting Scotland's heather-covered hills as a boy and vibrating with the beauty before him.”
– Seattle Post Intelligencer, Joe Adcock

“… a poignant and surprisingly emotional climax.”
– Seattle Times, John Hartl

“The portent of what would happen is like silent background music in (Just Like) Starting Over.”
– King County Journal, Doug Margeson


(Just Like) Starting Over
P.O. Box 61093
Seattle WA 98141 
(206) 274-9403