From 1960 until 1970, the world was enraptured by a four-person group known as The Beatles, who, during their decade-long time frame, broke several music records that still stand to this day.
“BeatleMania” may have took root in the UK, but it took shape in the United States and in every continent with vocalist/guitarist Paul McCartney, vocalist/guitarist John Lennon, lead guitarist George Harrison, and drummer Ringo Starr. These four men were often accompanied in some form, creatively, or on stage, by the “fifth Beatle,” George Martin.
Since 1975, “Rain” has been the longest-running tribute to The Beatles, having played Broadway and touring countless cities. It continues successfully to this day and, in fact, between April 5th and the 10th, “Rain” once again reminded people of the ingenuity, splendor, and spectacle of The Beatles with performers Steve Landes (as Lennon), Paul Curatolo (as McCartney), Alastar McNeil (as Harrison), Aaron Chiazza (as Starr), and Mark Beyer (as Martin). The iconic Pantages Theatre was an ideal host for the band, which, in their presentation, did an effective job of melding the classically simple Beatles band setup with the modern and large LED video walls that surrounded the overall set.
The show wonderfully chronicles the different stages of the Beatles, from inception, middle phase, and finally to its last album. Costume changes and British accents galore, the performers do a splendid job of capturing the colorful rhapsody of The Beatles, their humor, and musical evolution. Songs that galvanize the audience include the especially renowned ones like “I Want to Hold Your Hand,” “Come Together,” “Hey Jude,” and “Let it Be” (which features a breathtaking church-inspired stained glass theme on the LED walls).
The performers also do an admirable job of covering “Blackbird,” which is notoriously difficult to emulate on guitar, in addition to “While My Guitar Gently Weeps,” which calls for McNeil to explore and delicately dictate his expansive vocal range. Curatolo sets the tone of the evening with “Penny Lane,” and subsequently impresses with consistently accurate intonation. Not to mention, Landes’ soaring voice and pensive stoicism does “Strawberry Fields Forever” a great justice.
Adding to the experience with “Rain” is the interactivity between the act and the audience, who can use their smart phones to choose among a list of wild-card songs from the Beatles’ discography. As a result, the audience feels fully immersed not only in the 30 or so songs that are played, or the hilarious vintage commercials of that era, or the performers’ warm whimsy, or even the laser effects, but in the entire potpourri of psychedelic Beatles pleasure.
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