Our media culture (of which EW is a wholly owned subsidiary) has a habit of running every pop culture phenomenon into the ground. The twin demons of marketing and coverage profane everything they touch. Just the same, we’ve gotten used to the idea of some cows remaining sacred — the Beatles, for example. When the catalog was bought by Michael Jackson, it came as a blow to some. When “Come Together” turned up as an electronics jingle, there were winces.
Then recently, we got Lennon on Broadway (pictured). Oof. Leave it to Yoko to bring together, in one theater, everything that was smug, obnoxious, and self-consciously avant-garde about John, and nothing of the wryly amused, graceful sage.
Well, folks, it may get worse. Perhaps Julie Taymor’s cinematic Beatles fantasia Across the Universe will be a revelation, and I actually think it will be illuminating to see Jared Leto as Mark David Chapman in the upcoming Chapter 27. (I’m one of those people who really love Assassins.)
But honestly… Cirque du Soleil? That’s right, folks: The Beatles are now circus music. Can Ringo’s Vegas lounge act be far behind? Now, I love scantily clad contortionists and pretty choreographed fabric-dancing as much as the next red-blooded metrosexual. I was totally into O, and it was only my fifth drink of the mid-afternoon. Still… WWJLD?
(That said, there are some pieces of Beatles-inspired performance art you just can’t argue with.)