Friday, March 9, 2012

The Speakeasies of Theatre.

I recently had the pleasure of partaking in an interesting evening  Yes, theatre.  We'll call it that, though that doesn't seem to cover the full scope.  I attended a small theatre collective/think-tank, EXIT, PURSUED BY A BEAR's (EPBB) new production of THE FURTHER ADVENTURES OF HEDDA GABLER by Jeff Whitty (the bookwriter from AVENUE Q) and directed by Ed Sylvanus Iskandar.

It had actors, some set, some costumes, props, and witty dialogue.  But so do a lot of plays.

What this play had that set it apart from all the others, was atmosphere.  No, it wasn't in a gorgeous theatre or a huge arts complex that touts a Barnes & Noble.  It was in a loft apartment in midtown Manhattan, off the beaten path of the glitz and glean of Broadway shows.

You first must hear about EPBB's show - generally thru the grapevine (as the best speakeasies operate, mind you), and then must RSVP as though going to a select party.  On the night of, you find yourself at an apartment complex of sorts amongst gas stations and warehouses.  You are greeted at the gate by a member of the collective, who checks to see if you are on the list, and then you are sent to the next door, up a flight of stairs.  You knock on the door.  And enter.

All they are missing is a password.

The team at EPBB provide each guest with a glass of wine as you watch this new work being performed and are served a delicious vegan stew with beer bread as the night's meal at intermission.  There is a $10-20 suggested donation (very reasonable considering a full-length play and meal was provided, and you can bring wine/dessert to share if you would like for the post-show party).

Like any good speakeasy up to 'snuff (or Jack Daniels), EPBB not only provides the above, but also the conversations and merriment of a real good party.  I chatted with the couple next to me, finding neutral ground, then I met the doorman and discussed his future plans, but best of all was meeting the actors as they mingled during intermission.   The environment made the whole experience more like a bunch of friends getting together to have a party - and oh yeah, let's throw in a play.

And I mean that in the best way possible, the show was a high caliber production, but what really shined was the atmosphere.

Somehow, amidst the media frenzy, the social media overload, and the advertisement excess, EPBB managed to get back to what theatre is really about: a communal experience completely unique and never reproducible.

Sure, you could go on another night, but will you have the same experience?  No.  But that is the brilliance of it.

Best of all, in a city where everyone seems to know everything, EPBB manages to make New Yorkers (and out of towners, too) feel like they are truly part of the in-crowd, the cool kids, the in-the-know, and an exclusive group -  like a speakeasy of sorts.

-You are interested in alternative models for theatre.
-You want an intimate, interactive experience.
-You want the in-crowd feeling at the theatre.
-You want a great show and meal on a budget.

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Check out EPBB's website HERE!

Monday, February 27, 2012

2012 Oscars: Looking Back, Not Forward.

As I began Oscar weekend, I spoke with a friend (Lily Atonio) about her thoughts on the Academy Awards approaching.  She noticed a very interesting similarity: All the best picture nominees have some aspect of nostalgia built into them.  Period pieces like WAR HORSE, MIDNIGHT IN PARIS, THE HELP, MONEYBALL THE TREE OF LIFE, and of course the period piece devoted to the love of classic hollywood cinema, THE ARTIST.  All these films paid tribute to eras that define us today.  And films like THE DESCENDANTS, EXTREMELY LOUD AND INCREDIBLY CLOSE, and HUGO all lean on the nostalgia factor of families that are lost.


Well I suppose that has to do with the still-bad economic times and the wishing for better days of eras passed.

With nostalgia as the key theme for the best picture nominees, I suppose it makes sense that the Academy Awards themselves fit this theme.  But is that really for the best?

The awards show started off with host Billy Crystal (who is returning to the Oscars for the ninth time) infusing himself in all the best picture nominee's promo spots.  And so the nostalgia begins.  Within the evening there were at least four separate non-award segments that dealt with nostalgia.  They are as follows:

1) The Initial Retrospective: This is to be expected.  A fast-cutting montage of major landmark films implies that tonight's winners will enter the garden, pass gilded gate into Oscar history.  The films included were: Titanic, Forrest Gump, Jaws, Star Wars, Apollo 13, Indiana Jones, The Godfather, Avatar, The Princess Bride, The Hangover (WHAT??), Twilight (DOUBLE WHAT????).  This was to be expected and reminds us all of the passion behind these films that have touched us.  Most importantly, it reminds us the importance of the Academy Awards to our culture and our lives.

2) The Stars Talk Retrospective: This was definitely interesting though unexpected.  Again, another moment where the academy plays on the idea of of nostalgia.  The stars are interviewed and answer questions like, "What makes a great film?" and, "What was the first film you saw?"  These are interesting tidbits and we all know that actors can talk about their art for ever (and therefore SOMETHING good will come of of the interviews) but was it heavy handed?  Did we really need to go back a second time to hear more?  Is this why we care about the Oscars?   I do not know the answers to these questions, but I do wonder if anyone asked them at the round table discussion when this idea came up.  Again, nostalgia for the win.

3) The Wizard of Oz Focus Group Retrospective:  Again, the Academy rests on the films of the past to provide entertainment for the present.  I completely agree that THE WIZARD OF OZ is a phenomenal film and that focus groups are hilarious.  However, again we sat through ANOTHER nostalgia-driven segment.  Is this relevant?  Did they feel the current films are not up to snuff of the past greats so they had to rely on the tried-and-true?  Are they just trying to advertise these films to get a younger audience to see them again or for the first time?  Again, who knows.

4) The Cirque du Soleil Retrospective: It's sorta funny.  Here they are presenting a filmed version of a  stage-performance to indicate the importance of the film and cinema experience.  Don't get me wrong, Cirque du Soleil does amazing work that is creative, innovative, and jaw-dropping.  This was an interesting add to the show, I agree.  But, is this the best way to show the experience of sitting in a theatre?  Should it have been filmed better (ie more cameras, closer views, and overall better editing/flow?).  When you think of presenting the experience of watching a film, do you think acrobatics?  It was a stunning spectacle.  But that is what it was, a spectacle.  Purely for entertainment for sure.  And not a way to describe the cinematic experience.  Though I do think it was a welcome addition to the otherwise dreary nostalgia segments.  Overall, good job, Cirque. But I would have loved to see their interpretation of the best picture nominees as they always seem to work best with story.

Lastly, Billy Crystal himself was laden with nostalgia for the whole evening.  With quips like, "I prefer the big screen," as he denounces mobile phone movie watching, " ipad."  Here he is looking down on mobile devices and alternative ways to watch movies.  What he doesn't elude to is the fact that this the is the future of film.  And he should get on board so he doesn't get left behind.  Considering the fact that film has stuck with us for so long (the first Oscars were in 1929), is very impressive.  But it's a adapt or die sort of world we live in.  And film is no exception.  So, Billy, if you want a job in the future, you'd best get on board with alternative platforms for viewing.

And the second comment Billy made about the shifts in the industry was his comment about how back in the day films were "actually made on film."  This another dig at the changing times of the industry.  And yes, I do understand the reluctance to change to digital (film is more beautiful, more dynamic, and more lush).  But the great thing about digital is that it is the great equalizer (hello and welcome to the You Tube generation).  We all have access to filmmaking tools and all can be the next Scorsese.  But, Billy needs to understand that this is not the great demise of film, but rather the great horizon of a new enterprise.  Because just like Billy himself said, "Nothing takes the sting out of these tough economic times like watching a bunch of millionaires giving golden statues to each other" - Hollywood is made and paid for by Hollywood.  Yes, the shift from film to digital will be difficult but will make the film 
industry much more viable for the long haul.  

Finally, anyone really surprised to hear THE ARTIST win best picture with all this nostalgia going on?  I mean it is the king of all nostalgia films as it writes a love letter to Hollywood.

Bill Crystal as Host: Great singing/dancing, but lacked scope as he played only on the nostalgia theme.
The winners: expected, but satisfying. 


Check out Ryan Seacrest and The Dictator Here!  (hilarious antics!)

Friday, February 24, 2012

The Bird Flew The Coop! ...And Now It's Back.

Alright, birdies.  It seems I flew the coop for awhile there.

Some major life changes occurred:

1) I migrated from sunny LA to cold NYC.
2) I got into an early-bird-catches-the-worm sort of master's program for producing at Columbia University.

But now I am back, my hatchlings.  And better than ever.

First post?  Stay tuned for some reaction to the Oscars this Sunday.  And then it will be a catch-up on all the Bway shows I've seen here in NYC.

You don't want to miss this.

Check us out at facebook HERE!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

AMC's THE KILLING Redefines Cop Show Genre

I recently screened the first two episodes of AMC's new original series, THE KILLING.  Basically, this series is originally Danish (does that make AMC's version an "original series?") but regardless, the show has been expertly adapted for American television's favorite genre: the cop show.

While at first it seems to fit the cop show procedural formula (two cop partners of opposite style find a body and proceed to follow the clues), it sets it's self apart.  Yes, the two leads Mireille Enos playing Sarah Linden and Joel Kinnaman playing Stephen Holder are cop partners, and yes they are opposites.  Linden is a by-the-book sorta cop and Holder is more unconventional (read: controversial).  At one point, Holder offers pot to some teens to get them to talk (we find out later it's not really pot, but still...).  And while this is a convention (read: cliche) common to all cop TV series, this show does it differently.  The two play off one another casually, with minor power struggles, it's not over-bearing or in your face.  In fact, it's pretty realistic.

This whole let's-make-TV-realistic thing continues when we see the family of the young girl who has been recently murdered.  The scenes where the grief takes over them and we see some truly raw emotion is difficult to watch, it's that good.

The other way the show manages to redefine the cop show is the fact that for the thirteen episodes of the series, they will only follow this one murder and each episode is one day after the death.  So this makes the series feel more like novel or a detective story then a cop TV procedural. This is serialized drama (where the story continues every episode and doesn't wrap up at the end of one episode, like say House or Law & Order) which makes this cop show completely different to any other cop show on TV.

I saw the first two episodes and then later found that AMC is allowing the first four episodes to be viewed online for free until May.  When I heard this I immediately watched them - and was hooked.

And while this show is reminiscent of TWIN PEAKS, the network has chosen to embrace this comparison to arguably the greatest show that never found a large fanbase.  So, AMC has chosen to lean-into the comparison by spinning-off TWIN PEAKS's tagline for THE KILLING.  And so that is how the very blunt but very enthralling tagline emerged: WHO KILLED ROSIE LARSEN?

Watch a trailer of THE KILLING here:
Then, when you're hooked, watch the first few episodes (UNTIL MAY!) here:

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Alvin Ailey: American Dance Theatre

The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre returned to Los Angeles's Dorothy Chandler Pavilion for ten performances of their mixed repertoire.  Founded by Alvin Ailey in 1958, this ballet company has grown into one of the largest American dance companies and the most lauded of African-American dance companies.  It is estimated that since it's conception, the company has reached 23 million audience members in 48 states and 71 countries.  Needless to say, this company is the most-toured dance company from the United States, and they represent us well.

With Artistic Director Judith Jamison, the company has soared.  And Friday April 15th's performance was no different as they presented "Program B" which included: "Memoria (1979)," "Three Black Kings (1976)," "Cry (1971)," and "Revelations (1960)."  Of these pieces, the ones that stood out the most to me were "Three Black Kings (1976)" and "Revelations (1960)."

"Three Black Kings (1976)" contains three movements about three kings that have affected the black race. The first movement is dedicated to King Balthazar (the black king present at the nativity), followed by King Solomon, and Martin Luther King.  The music comes from Duke Ellington's final work and so continues the African-American spirit in the piece.

"Revelations (1960)" is Ailey's most well-known and most lauded piece.  In fact, the word masterpiece is not overstating the power and emotions that this mini-ballet contains.  There are three sections, and each contains three movements.  Some stand out pieces are "Didn't My Lord Deliver Daniel" from the first section, "Pilgrim of Sorrow," "Wade In The Water" from the second section, "Take Me To The Water," and "I Wanna Be Ready," also from the second section.

My personal favorite piece is "I Wanna Be Ready" as it is a solo for a man in pure white clothing.  The anguish that he feels is so visceral that we see it not in just his emotion, but through the choreography.  And all it is, is just him alone in the middle of the stage, in a pool of light.  Brilliant.  (See link below to see a video).

These pieces in particular were especially riveting.  Since "Revelations (1960)" uses all Gospel music, the pieces already feel quintessentially African-American.  And then, with the progression of the movements, we see the story of the African-American play out.  Ailey's movements are considered modern dance, but they have a unique way of not only embodying the spirit of the piece, but of a people and of a culture.

Revelations is also celebrating an anniversary.  It was first created in 1960 and (as of 2010) is celebrating it's 50th year.  So, to commemorate this, there was a presentation of a five minute film about the conception of the masterpiece, with Ailey himself (prior to his death in 1989) discussing his inspirations, his muse, and his past.

Considered a "Cultural Ambassador to the World," The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre Company will continue to inspire and perpetuate a new appreciation of this completely American art form and company.

Check out CBS's story on their 50th Anniversary here:

Check out my favorite piece from "Revelations (1960)," "I Wanna Be Ready" here:

Monday, April 18, 2011

Documentary: Exporting Raymond

"Even if you've never seen the TV show, 
this is the funniest movie of the year."
-David Young (

"And the best part's all real."
-Pete Hammond (Box Office Magazine)

EXPORTING RAYMOND is a documentary directed by and starring Philip Rosenthal (creator of EVERYBODY LOVES RAYMOND).  The film chronicles Rosenthal's experience going to Russia and adapting EVERYBODY LOVES RAYMOND into a Russian sitcom, complete with Russian actors and adjusted plot lines and speeches to fit in with the Russian culture.

This documentary is hilarious as it is not so much about the sitcom, but about the culture clash and culture shock that Rosenthal experiences.  With an extreme amount of deadpan humor, Rosenthal finds that show business is the same in every country - run by the suits.  We see him struggling to explain American concepts to Russians and vice versa.  At the end of the film, we learn that this newly-adapted Russian sitcom is the most popular and longest running series in the country's history.

However, that success comes after a lot of trials.  Apparently, Russia does not understand the "everyman" quality that Ray Ramono's sitcom illustrates.  You see, Russia's previous best-sitcom was an adapted version of THE NANNY.  This show of course uses broad humor and a lot of slapstick schtick.  But with EVERYBODY LOVES RAYMOND, the humor is more based in the reality of average people, about the little things in life.  Evidently Russia was not familiar with this prior to Rosenthal's appearance in the country.  There are many hilarious scenes where Rosenthal is trying to explain why his Emmy winning show is so funny and why it is accessible (and why it can travel across borders).

Now, of course EVERYBODY LOVES RAYMOND is not my favorite (or even within the realm of shows I watch), but this film was enjoyable regardless.  This film is NOT about EVERYBODY LOVES RAYMOND.  It is about transferring a quintessentially American idea overseas, and the chaos that ensues. Its about understanding other cultures and other entertainment mediums and audiences.  This film is about culture and the entertainment industry, not about a has-been sitcom.

You should see EXPORTING RAYMOND if...

-You like Russia
-You like deadpan humor and culture clash
-You like entertainment industry issues and current events
-You like Britney Spears (there is a killer Britney scene about her "artistry")
-You like vodka (there's a lot of it)

Check out the trailer here:

Find it on amazon here:
Exporting Raymond

Friday, April 15, 2011

Rent/Buy This Weekend: Beatles Docu-Drama: Nowhere Boy

"Why couldn't God make me Elvis!?!"
"Cause he was saving you for John Lennon!"

NOWHERE BOY is a 2009 British Indie film about John Lennon's adolescence.  Mostly about the women in his life, we see John torn between his Aunt Mimi (who raised him) and his mother, Julia, (who abandon him, but reappears in his early teens).  The film chronicles these early experiences that shaped one of the most captivating and talented icons in popular culture.

With some amazing performances by Aaron Johnson (as John Lennon), Kristin Scott Thomas (as Aunt Mimi), Anne-Marie Duff (as Julia) and Thomas Brodie-Sangster (as Paul McCartney, best known as the cute kid from LOVE ACTUALLY), this film is a must watch.  However, I must warn that the film is NOT about The Beatles, but about the young man who starts arguably the greatest band in history.

The film explains John's upbringing and the influences these women have had on his life.  And then, starts the music.  We find that Aunt Mimi bought John Lennon his first guitar and allowed his first band (The Quarrymen) to practice at her home.  And then, we see the moment John Lennon meets Paul McCartney and the start of the complicated friendship of arguably 20th century's finest musical pairing: Lennon/McCartney.  And just as soon as we meet George Harrison, the film reels us back in for a quiet finish.  This film is not so much about how The Beatles got their start, but how John Lennon got his start.

The friendship between John and Paul is seen in this film and depicted fairly.  We see Paul's admiration for the older, wiser and brasher John, but we see John's insecurities with Paul's abilities and leadership skills.  The two have heartwarming moments just as they have arguments, making it likely accurate.

The film is lauded as being "A Terrific Film!  Insightful and Moving!" by Entertainment Weekly.  They also add that "Aaron Johnson as John Lennon is a Revelation."

Nominated for four BAFTA awards (the UK's Oscars, that is) and winner for British Independent Film Award 2009 for Best Supporting Actress Anne-Marie Duff, the film is soulful and filled with wit.

Seeing where "Penny Lane" and "Strawberry Fields Forever" grew inspiration is a treat.  Not to mention, for any major Beatle fan out there, there are so many hidden gems of references to watch and re-watch for.

NOWHERE BOY is (as the subtitle claims) "the untold story of John Lennon and the creation of The Beatles," but beyond all that, this film is the only docu-drama about Lennon and The Beatles worth any salt.  Beatle fan or not, this is a must-see.

You Should See NOWHERE BOY if:
-You like/love/obsess over The Beatles
-You recognize the significance of The Beatles and John Lennon
-You enjoy character pieces with some truly fine acting
-You wanna see "Penny Lane"

Check out the trailer here:

Thursday, April 14, 2011

The Beatles and MTV

With the Beatlemania, now a global phenomenon, The Beatles were exhausted and yet were constantly being asked to appear on television programs all across the globe.  They simply couldn’t be everywhere.  And then there is the added issue of the music.  As the band progressed, so did the technology used to create the music.  Soon, The Beatles were using tape loops, over-dubbing, and other in-studio effects.  And while this helped progress the sound and the music, it made it difficult to tour and perform live.  And so, as George Harrison explains, out of “convenience we decided we are just not gonna go in to the TV studios to promote our records so much.  It was too much of a hassle, what we’ll do is just go and make our own little films and we’ll put them out” (qtd. in Anthology DVD).  

And so began the period when The Beatles created promotional films of their singles.  As Neil Aspinall (The Beatles’s road manager turned executive) explains, “so to accommodate those people [at the televisions shows around the world] we decided to make promo films…and sent that to the TV stations around the world and that would fulfill that obligation” (qtd. in Anthology DVD).  For instance, the singles “Paperback Writer” and “Rain” (also later “Hello Goodbye”) were sent via promotional films to The Ed Sullivan Show with an introduction of the four Beatles apologizing for not being in attendance (Anthology DVD).  

These films were the start of something new for the music industry: music videos.  The Beatles would sometimes be seen playing their instruments and singing their songs as though performing on a stage.  However, many of the promotional films were much more artistic, with the band not singing or playing, but embodying an abstract story related to the song.  The idea of taking abstract images and combining them with music was new.  As George Harrison describes the intention, “[we thought] we’ll send these things out to promote the record.  And obviously these days now everybody does that, its just part of your promotion for a single.  So I suppose in a way we invented MTV” (qtd. in Anthology DVD).  And while that last statement may be grandiose, The Beatles certainly invented (and were the first to use these techniques on a large scale) the basic building blocks of what would become the music video which led to MTV and to how the music industry functions today. 

Check out the promo for "Day Tripper" here:
Check out the promo for "Paperback Writer"here:
Check out the promo for "Hello Goodbye" here:

-The Beatles Anthology, Dir. Kevin Godley 
-Blaney, John.  John Lennon: In His Life.
-Davies, Hunter. The Beatles.
-Miles, Barry.  Paul McCartney: Many Years From Now. 

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

The Beatles: All You Need Is Love (...and a TV).

             A landmark moment for The Beatles and television was BBC and a program called Our World in 1967 “The BBC had come up with the idea of using the newly installed relays to connect the national television networks of countries all around the world” (Miles 354).  This major technological feat meant that all around the world, people would tune in to see humanity from across the globe.  Twenty-six countries participated and were connected to the sattelite coverage and each country chose a representative to embody the country and their people.  “As the BBC put it, ‘for the first time ever, linking five continents and bringing man face to face with mankind, in places as far apart as Canberra and Cape Kennedy, Moscow and Montreal, Samarkand and Soderfors, Takamatsu and Tunis’” (qtd. in Miles 354).  Britain chose The Beatles.  “Rather than play one of their existing hits, or something off Sgt. Pepper [the album they were currently working on], they composed a new single specially for the programme" (Miles 354).  Wanting to create a song that would resonate with many cultures (and many who did not speak English), the idea was to make the chorus simple so as to be able to follow it.  “In June, The Beatles performed Lennon’s ‘All You Need Is Love’ …to an audience of 400 million people”  (Blaney 59).  Paul explains the song:
“All You Need Is Love” was John’s song.  I threw in a few ideas, as did other members of the group, but it was largely ad libs like singing “She Loves You” or “Green Sleeves” or silly little things at the end and we made those up on the spot. Knowing that millions of the viewers would not understand English, John kept the chorus as simple as possible.  It was the philosophy of Sgt. Pepper and the era reduced to five words…The chorus “All You Need Is Love” is simple, but the verse is quite complex…[with an] anthemic chorus…(Miles 354).

         The technological feat of reproducing The Beatles’s tracks for a live performance was complicated as many of their more recent music required mixing in a studio, and would be hard to reproduce live.  “It took five days of recording and mixing to get the song right but Paul’s bass, John’s vocal, George’s solo and Ringo’s drums, as well as the orchestra, were all broadcast live during the event” (Miles 354).  And since this television event was to represent England and the various artistic contributions the country has made, The Beatles chose to include a chorus of various British icons.  “The Beatles invited Brian Jones, Keith Richards, Mick [Jagger] and Marianne [Faithfull] and dozens of other friends to the session, which was staged as a party in Studio One at Abbey Road” (Miles 354).  Here is a moment when The Beatles were served by television by playing for a global audience.  The evidence of this is clear: “the single was released two weeks later and became a hit all around the world.” (Miles 354).  And then television was served because this was the first major all-world broadcast, a moment in television history where a broadcast of this size, magnitude and logistics were realized successfully.  

Check out this clip of the band on the worldwide event:

-The Beatles Anthology, Dir. Kevin Godley 
-Blaney, John.  John Lennon: In His Life.
-Davies, Hunter. The Beatles.
-Miles, Barry.  Paul McCartney: Many Years From Now.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Beatles: Ed Sullivan Show

The most important television show The Beatles ever played on was of course, The Ed Sullivan Show.  But, Ed Sullivan needed to be convinced that a British band that had mediocre record sales with “She Loves You” was worth hiring on for a major televison show.  Of course, this was prior to “I Want To Hold Your Hand” hitting the number one spot in America.  “Brian [The Beatles’s manager]…got an appointment with Ed Sullivan, whose TV show is the biggest of its kind...[Sullivan’s] talent scouts had passed on…The Beatles’s success in Britain.  After a lot of discussion, Ed Sullivan agreed to book the Beatles for two of his shows” (Davies 237).  
But for the biggest band in Britain, just booking the show was not enough.  The smart and savvy Brian Epstein (The Beatles’s manager) never allowed the band to be anything but the headliner.  “Brian insisted that they should get top billing on both shows…[Sullivan] agreed in the end, but his producer later [said] that Sullivan had said it was ridiculous to give a British group top billing when a British group had never made it big in the States before”  (Davies 237).  But the States had never met The Beatles before.  
And soon enough the buzz of the British invasion hit mainstreet America.  “Five million ‘The Beatles Are Coming’ posters were plastered throughout the States” (Davies 239).  With all this hype (including a countdown in “Beatle Time”), the group’s reputation preceded them.  And so, “Ed Sullivan couldn’t cope with the demand for tickets – 50,000 applied for 728 seats.” (Davies 239-40).  And with this mania came merchandise and profit.  “It was estimated that in 1964, 50 million dollars worth of Beatle goods was sold in the States.” (Davies 243).  With all of this demand to be in the presence of The Beatles, of course came the screaming fans of full-blown American Beatlemania.  “On February 7, 1964, The Beatles were greeted at Kennedy Airport, New York, by hundreds...Beatlemania was now a global phenomenon.” (Blaney 58).
With this newfound American mania, the band took The Ed Sullivan Show stage and then took on the world  “before a television audience of 73,000,000 people” (Miles 209).  And while rock ‘n roll had appeared on television before, though not nearly as saturated as the country was for The Bealtes’s performance, it was Ed Sullivan’s stamp of approval that really solidified rock ‘n roll’s place on television.  Ed Sullivan was a upstanding citizen and a presenter of good taste through the very prevalence of his television variety show.  The country was so captivated by The Beatles appearing on his show, that it wasn’t so much a show, as an event.  In fact, “in New York, during the show, not one hubcap from a car was stolen.  Throughout America, so it was reported, not one major crime was committed by a teenager” (Davies 241).  This tidbit may seem trivial and perhaps circumstantial, but it illustrates how effective The Beatles were in enchanting an audience and how monumental this appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show really was.  In an interview for The Beatles Anthology documentary film, George Harrison claims, it was the “least reported crime [period], even the criminals had a rest when we were on! ” (Anthology).  
But besides this, the show legitimized not only The Beatles as a band, but rock ‘n roll as an art form worthy of time on mainstream television.  This illustrated by Ed Sullivan’s introduction of The Beatles on his show and his comments about them as individuals.  Ed Sullivan states in archival footage from The Ed Sullivan Show:
Thank you very, very much, thank you!  Well its very nice to be here…and now this has happened again, last Sunday on our show in New York, The Beatles played to the greatest TV audience that’s ever been assembled in the history of American TV.  Now tonight …again The Beatles face a record busting audience ladies and gentlemen, here are four of the nicest youngsters we’ve ever had on our stage…THE BEATLES! (Anthology).
And again, Ed Sullivan reiterates the upstanding qualities that these young men possess,  “these youngsters from Liverpool, England, and their conduct over here, not only as fine professional singers but as a group of fine youngsters, well they leave an imprint with everyone over here who’s met ‘em” (Anthology).  
            Clearly, this unabashed endorsement of The Beatles went a long way in helping The Beatles gain a following.  But also, Ed Sullivan’s support of The Beatles implies that he is saying to the over-40 set in America that rock ‘n roll is really not all that bad, look at these youngsters with their clean suits and clean lyrics!  This proclamation and the show itself propelled The Beatles as bonafide rockstars and allowed them to saturate the USA with their records and their charm.  And then, The Beatles paved the way for more rock ‘n roll groups to appear on The Ed Sullivan Show like The Rolling Stones and The Who.  The relationship between television and The Beatles proved to be beneficial for all involved.  

Check out this video of The Beatles on The Ed Sullivan Show!

-The Beatles Anthology, Dir. Kevin Godley
-Blaney, John.  John Lennon: In His Life.
-Davies, Hunter. The Beatles.
-Miles, Barry.  Paul McCartney: Many Years From Now.