By M. Scott Morris/NEMS Daily Journal
TUPELO – “The Beatles Slept Here” isn’t a musical, but it’s filled with touches designed to make a Fab Four fan smile.
The Pied Piper Playhouse production refers to a Penny Lane Hotel, and characters include Eleanor Digby and Sgt. Paprika, rather than “Eleanor Rigby” and “Sgt. Pepper” from the Beatles’ musical catalogue.
“There are a lot of puns that use a lot of names and lyrics from the songs in the script,” said Leah Thompson, 18, who plays an obsessed fan. “It’s really cool.”
In the story, Beatles fans flock to Penny Lane Hotel when they learn the band members had stayed there in the 1960s, when their tour bus broke down. High school students are running a raffle for the chance to sleep in the Beatles’ room.
All of this annoys Sgt. Paprika, who owns the hotel, because he has an unexplained distaste for John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and, especially, Ringo Starr.
“He’s a crabby old guy. He’s not real nice,” said Corban Boutot, 18, who plays Paprika.
His sister is trying to have Paprika declared insane so she can take over the hotel. Maybe that explains why Paprika is the only one who sees four mop-tops that have been hanging around the hotel.
But Paprika is not without his allies. He’s got a crush on Eleanor Rigby, and it’s clear feelings are mutual.
Throw in a theft of Beatles memorabilia and a detective named Johnny B. Goode, then all you need is love to get a ticket to ride and come together in the end.
“It is hilarious. If you’re in the mood to laugh, come to the play,” said Lexie Smith, 14, who plays Eleanor Digby. “It’s quirky and fun.”
Contact M. Scott Morris at (662) 678-1589 or firstname.lastname@example.org.