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MORNING REPORT

Stage

November 26, 1987|RICK SHERWOOD and DEBORAH CAULFIELD | Arts and entertainment reports from The Times, national and international news services and the nation's press

Vienna's famed Imperial Burgtheater is rocking with "Elvis and John," a two-act musical about Elvis Presley and John Lennon. The show boasts a number of firsts for the stately Austrian theater: It's in English; it features rock music; Elvis is portrayed by four women, and the Queen of England is portrayed as a foul-mouthed singer. Subtitled "Two Scenes of the Artistic Life," the show premiered last month to public--but not critical--acclaim. "Elvis" is a comic biography of Presley told by a shady entertainer named Gerry and his Elvis Presley Memorial Players; the "John" half of the evening is a bit more serious, although it includes a scene in which the Queen leads the Beatles in a rousing version of "Lady Madonna." "I suppose it is a bit of a cheek," admitted director and co-writer Uwe Jens Jensen.

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