This Week in New York Insider's Guide to Arts & Culture in New York City Since 2001




On February 7, 1964, John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr landed at JFK to a wild welcome as they came to America for the first time to appear on The Ed Sullivan Show. New York City is paying tribute to that seminal moment in the history of the Fab Four with Fabmania Week, featuring a host of special events celebrating this golden anniversary. The centerpiece of it all is the fortieth anniversary of the Fest for Beatles Fans, taking place February 7-9 at the Grand Hyatt in Midtown ($32.50-$225). Among the many guests are Cousin Brucie (broadcasting live), Donovan, Billy J. Kramer, Peter Asher, Chad & Jeremy, Freda Kelly, Bob Guren, and Allan Tannenbaum; the Fest also features a re-creation of the Cavern Club, screenings of Ryan White’s Good Ol’ Freda, a marketplace of memorabilia, look-alike and costume contests, and yoga sessions in an ashram, in addition to book signings, art exhibitions, and other tributes. On February 6, Donovan, Asher, Kramer, Kelly, Vince Calandra, and moderator Martin Lewis will take part in the friends-of-the-Beatles panel discussion “It Was 50 Years Ago Today . . . Celebrating 50 Years of the Beatles in the USA” at the 92nd St. Y ($15-$29, 8:15). The Morrison Hotel Gallery exhibit “50th Anniversary of the Beatles’ First US Tour,” curated by Julian Lennon, opens on February 7 and runs through February 28, consisting of twenty-five images, some never before shown in public, of John, Paul, George, and Ringo taken by such photographers as Ken Regan, Charles Trainor, Curt Gunther, Robert Whitaker, Rowland Scherman, and Terry O'Neill.

Curt Gunther’s photograph of the Beatles playing with slot cars is included in Morrison Hotel Gallery exhibit curated by Julian Lennon (photo © Curt Gunther, 1964)

Curt Gunther’s photograph of the Beatles playing with slot cars is included in Morrison Hotel Gallery exhibit curated by Julian Lennon (photo © Curt Gunther, 1964)

The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts will be home to the multimedia exhibition “Ladies and Gentlemen . . . the Beatles!” from February 6 through May 10, examining the effects Beatlemania had on American pop culture during the mid-1960s, comprising interviews, instruments, posters, music, and an oral history booth where fans can share their own memories; there will also be a free symposium on February 9 in the library’s Bruno Walter Auditorium with presentations by Bruce Spizer (“The Beatles Are Coming! The Birth of Beatlemania in America”), Dennis Elsas (“It Was 50 Years Ago Today — The Beatles Invade America”), Chuck Gunderson (“Some Fun Tonight! The Backstage Story of the 1964 Summer North American Tour”), Allan Kozinn (“Studio Days / Touring Years”), and Russ Lease (“The Drop-T Logo and the Most Significant Drumkit in Popular Music History”), emceed by curator Robert Santelli. On February 8, the Town Hall will hold the “America Celebrates the Beatles’ 50th Anniversary All-Star Concert” ($63-$272, 7:30), with a wide-ranging lineup playing songs by and inspired by the Liverpudlian quartet, including Melissa Manchester, Tommy James, Al Jardine, Danny Aiello, Marshal Crenshaw, Larry Kirwin, Aztec Two-Step, Melanie, along with appearances by such Beatles fans as Dick Cavett, Len Berman, the Amazing Kreskin, and Charles Grodin. And on February 8 & 9 at 1:00, the Paley Center will present “The Beatles Invasion 50-Year Celebration: See the Fab Four on the Big Screen, Yeah, Yeah, Yeah,” with showings of the complete Ed Sullivan Show broadcast from February 9, 1964, and the Maysles brothers’ original What’s Happening! The Beatles in the U.S.A. documentary.

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