Saturday, March 15, 2008


Thirty years on, Rutlemania is real. We got to sit in last night on a well-attended dress rehearsal of the multimedia concert/stage show that takes the audience through the story of the Prefab Four, as written and directed by comedy and Monty Python legend Eric Idle, set to a truly timeless soundtrack by The Seventh Python, Neil Innes.

Rutlemania! provides real laughs and nonstop entertainment, with the Rutles music performed live by Beatles tribute act The Fab Four (play around with that concept if you will), in and around filmed highlights of Idle’s two Rutles mockumentaries, All You Need Is Cash (the one that premiered on NBC thirty years ago this month) and Can’t Buy Me Lunch. It's a fun rush for millions of Rutles fans and a good primer for the uninitiated (even if they don't have the cultural education to know the Beatles story it parodies, let alone its place in music and comedy history).

The comedy bits and surprise (filmed) celebrity cameos generated real laughs, and the music, real cheers. Rutles Ron Nasty and Barry Wom were in the audience and they approved, enthusiastically. (And why not? Of all the Pythons, Idle has worked hardest to keep the brand alive, current and relevant.)

The show begins a five-show run tonight at the Ricardo Montalban Theatre in Hollywood and moves to the Blender Theatre in NYC March 26-29. We’d say Vegas beckons (as does “Rutles on Ice”), with or without the acrobats and clowns.

Rutlemania! is dark Monday night, and for good reason: that's when All You Need Is Cash gets a 30th anniversary showing (two shows, actually, the first is sold out)—and film’s four Rutles will reunite for the very first time-- at the Egyptian Theatre on Hollywood Boulevard as part of impresario and tastemaker Martin LewisMods & Rockers American Cinematheque film series. Martin has been a busy man this week, a combination of Derek Taylor, Eric Manchester and Leggy Mountbatten rolled into one, and it’s all paying off as the Rutles leaping into the forefront of pop culture (as a look at the front page of today’s LA Times Calendar section will attest).

And stay tuned here for exclusive news about what else will be featured that night at the Egyptian…

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