The fun of seeing and hearing Tim Pipers great John Lennon impersonation in an intimate setting with an outstanding band, under Greg Pipers musical direction, is just undeniable. The evening, which includes a large portion of the Beatles catalog followed by Lennons solo work, never misses a beat or lick with Pipers perfectly pitched and accented voice and expert instrumentation: Don Butlers hot guitar, Morley Bartnoffs keyboard and Don Ponchers drums. The guys scruffily kowtow to Lennons lead, creating the perfect illusion of superstar power. Jonathan Zenzs sound design achieves a powerful volume without killing our ears in the small Noho Arts Center space. Lighting by Luke Moyer along with Tim Pipers video images complete the double fantasy of Lennon before and after Yoko. The musical portion is so enjoyable, under the overall eye of director Steve Altman, that we hopefully forget the lame one-man play that slips between the songs. Perhaps the plan is to pull Lennon off his lofty saintlike perch, but the result of a plodding timeline narrative bio leaves Lennon sounding dull and whiny, until the music returns him to his proper place. NoHo Arts Center, 11136 Magnolia Blvd., North Hollywood; Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 3 p.m.; through November 8. www.justimaginetheshow.com. (818) 508-7101, Ext. 7.
Fridays, Saturdays, 8 p.m.; Sundays, 3 p.m. Starts: Oct. 9. Continues through Jan. 2, 2009