1989, 36:10 mins
Starring Shelley Cook as Yoko Ono, Susie Bright as John Lennon, Jill Garellick as Paul McCartney, Kate Aragon as Ringo Star, Azian Nurudin as George Harrison; go-go dancers are Didi Dunphy and Rick Groel
Costumes by Margo Adams
Grapefruit is a semi-scripted re-enactment of the story of John Lennon and Yoko Ono, created by a fusion of narrative and experimental methodologies. The storytelling is non-linear and fractured, and includes visual asides and performed footnotes; the events depicted are re-visited rather than recreated. The title of the piece and some of the performances within it are based on Yoko Ono's 1964 Fluxus anthology, Grapefruit.
In Grapefruit, the cast were asked to play specific episodes in the lives of The Beatles and Yoko Ono at the end of the 1960s, episodes that originally came to be known widely through pop literature, the tabloid press, and television as the band was breaking up. The story was therefore already established and needed no explanation, nor was any offered as part of the direction. The performers enacted the scenes, dialogues and characterizations based on their own memories and impressions of events. A new narrative emerges from the blend of their reconstructions. There is no correct or incorrect reconstruction, only a mapping of contemporary consciousness onto pop cultural history.
"In Cecilia Dougherty's Grapefruit, based obliquely on Yoko Ono's book, often ludicrous moments from John and Yoko's charmed history are reconstructed. An all-female cast (aside from one male go-go dancer) makes this a gentle mockery lingering on the banal squabbles of the Fab Four and John and Yoko's deliberate denuding of their private lives. The ersatz philosophy comically espoused in Grapefruit casts doubt on the past's ability to adequately inform the present. For Dougherty, this glance backwards doesn't seek reassurance or queasy remembrance. It's an experiment in crippled nostalgia."
-- Steve Seid, Pacific Fillm Archive