Tuesday, April 12, 2011

review - Rain

A Tribute to the Beatles
Pantages Theatre
through April 17 only
For those of us who lived through the 60s and saw firsthand the arrival of the Beatles in the US and their premiere on The Ed Sullivan Show in 1964, we know the impact that they had on pop culture and on female fans, who screamed, yelled and literally passed out while watching them. Like Elvis, they were a phenomenon and to think of how they revolutionized music over the course of the next twenty+ years! Paul, George (deceased), John (deceased) and Ringo were IT for a long time, and now the band Rain is replicating their look and musical style to the letter on Broadway and  for one week only at the Pantages. Steve Landes, Joey Curatolo, Joe Bithorn, Ralph Castelli and Mark Beyer are Rain and they are as big a smash as those Liverpool youngsters who preceded them. These very same boys who played the show at the Pantages in 2009 are back once more, but will return to New York next week.

Act One has the early hits like "I Want to Hold Your Hand", "Yesterday" and all the great Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band songs like "Eleanor Rigby" and "Strawberry Fields Forever" to name but two. In Act Two, the boys get more relaxed and perform some of the later stuff like "Hey Jude", "Let It Be", and some less familiar but still curiously entertaining tunes. Backed by three screens that show a stream of psychedelic images, TV news footage of the period and  hilarious 60s commercials, the evening is a haven for those with a penchant for reminiscing about 60s-70s Americana: some joyous, some tragic, but all leaving an indelible mark on the memory.

In spite of Beatlemania and other Beatle shows which have saturated the public, Rain is a highly enjoyable trip down memory lane. "Get on your feet, LA!" was the call more than once and Los Angelenos followed suit, as they love the Beatles, their music and now Rain, who keep it forever young and fresh....and the legacy alive. I'm still waiting and hoping for that big book musical to chronicle the Beatles' lives.

4 out of 5 stars

PS Be sure to pack an earplug or two. I loved what I heard but found myself in a somewhat deafened state when I left the Pantages!

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