By Sonia Saavedra
Outside, in front of the Dakota Apartment Building in New York City, nine strangers stand in disbelief when they heard the news.
“The Day They Shot John Lennon,” by James Mclure and directed by Kelly Hogan, follows nine characters who each react differently to the death of former Beatle John Lennon.
Each character has a story to tell.
The actors give remarkable and unforgettable performances that will have audiences wanting more.
From the heartbreaking moments to the comedic scenes, there is never a dull moment in this extraordinary play.
It starts off with each character expressing how they felt when they heard the devastating news.
Fredo Cervantes plays Mike, a devoted Beatles fan who ditches school to stand in front of Lennon’s apartment building.
Cervantes’s performance is impressive.
In one scene, he explains to his friend Kevin, played by Mark Vallejo, how the Beatles’s music speaks to him.
Mike feels like no one gets him.
At one point, he gets emotional as he talks about a sensitive subject.
He talks about how his father puts him down after he sees him crying over Lennon’s death.
Audiences will be able to hear the pain in his voice.
Alexandra Jimenez who plays Sally, Mike’s on and off girlfriend, also gives an impressive performance.
Jimenez is outstanding as a quirky Beatles fanatic.
Her performance is believable.
From her facial expressions to the tone of her voice, Jimenez does a marvelous job acting as the hardcore Beatles fan and scattered brain Sally.
The entire cast gives incredible performances, but the star of the show has to go to Adam Gonzalez who plays Gately, the traumatized Vietnam War veteran.
At the start of the play, it seems like Gonzalez’s role is small.
He does not say much and seems like he is more of an extra than part of the actual cast.
Gonzalez gives a powerful performance as he discusses his hard times in the Vietnam War.
His unforgettable performance will touch audience members.
“The Day They Shot John Lennon” has a lot of serious scenes, but it does have some comedy.
Ricardo Salcido plays Morris, an older man who only wants someone to hear what he has to say.
As usual, Salcido does not disappoint.
He gives a comical performance alongside Nathan Castro, who plays Larry, a teenager with a bad record who carries a stereo blasting Beatles tunes around his neck.
The two make the perfect comic duo.
Audiences can not help but laugh uncontrollably at the way Larry curses in front of Morris.
The set is impressive and very realistic.
Audience members will feel like they are really in New York City.
Posters are hung up around the theatre honoring the Lennon.
This will make audiences feel like they are also standing in front of his apartment building mourning his death.
Overall, “The Day They Shot John Lennon” has a great balance of hard-hitting and humorous moments.
One special intimate moment of the play comes at the end.
The cast encourages the audience to sing “Imagine” with them.
“The Day They Shot John Lennon’s” run-time is about one and a half hours long.
“The Day They Shot John Lennon” will play on Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. at the new Black Box Theatre in the Performing and Fine Arts Complex’s P2 Building
Tickets are $12 for general admission, $7 for Elans with proof of ID, and $5 for high school students and a parent can get in for free of charge.
For more information and reservations call (323) 415-5333.