The Night I Saw The Beatles

Review: In the Ahmanson’s ‘2:22 – A Ghost Story,’ poltergeists are more believable than people.

On July 18, 2015, I went to the Ahmanson Theatre in Los Angeles for a reading of Neil LaBute’s Two Tickets to Broadway on a Full House: A Ghost Story. (A few months later, Two Tickets was released as a feature length film.) That night was the first time I had spent the night in one of the auditoriums. For the rest of my life, they were the only auditoriums I would ever use.

I’d met Neil LaBute at a screening of the film at the 2009 San Francisco International Film Festival. I’d seen Two Tickets dozens of times before, but I had never experienced it fully. I’d never had so much joy in one experience. It was so much fun to be the audience member for my first two acts – the movie and the story of the man who became inspired by a poltergeist.

I knew nothing of Paul McCartney before I visited the theater – I’d never heard of the Beatles, really. I knew of the Beatles, of course, and their songs – “Yesterday,” “Paperback Writer,” “Taxman” – but all I knew of them was that they had sold over three million records in the United States. I didn’t know that the Beatles had been at first inspired by a poltergeist.

My memories of the night are vague. There was this man sitting in the second row, one that would become my lifelong friend and supporter. I remember my wife was laughing over him, trying to get something she wanted my attention, trying to get me to notice him, trying to get me to acknowledge him. I noticed him, and then I made my way to him, and we stood together and stared at each other, and

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