Monday, April 3, 2017

Review of Rain: A Tribute to the Beatles (Broadway in Chicago)

Once upon a time I went to a show and it was called Rain: A Tribute to the Beatles. It was created by Steve Landes, Joey Curatolo, Joe Bithorn, Ralph Castelli, and Mark Lewis. There wasn't really a story or a plot, but it was exactly like the videos I have seen of real Beatles' concerts. They got a lot of the unique characteristics of John Lennon (Landes), Paul McCartney (Curatolo), George Harrison (Alastar McNeil), and Ringo Starr (Aaron Chiazza) just right. I thought this was a super fun show. I have been a Beatles' fan since I was six, and I would have loved to go to a Beatles' concert. Sadly, by the time I was born, there were only two Beatles members still alive. So it was really fun to get the chance to see what it was like to see them on stage.

I think it is really cool how much they captured the personalities of the real members of the Beatles. Paul has a lot of energy and is most of the time moving. He is always smiling and has great stage presence. John is more focused on the music that he is playing than on the fans--until the song is over. John and Paul would talk to each other on stage, which showed how close they were. George seems to have his own thing going, but he still goofs around a bit. I was really happy that Ringo got to sing a song ("With a Little Help from my Friends") in this concert because he is literally in the background because he plays the drums, but if it wasn't for Ringo there would be no rhythm, which you really need for a band. You see them all evolve over the years. At the beginning they are literally all wearing suits and their performance style was more straightforward. Then we get to Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band and they are much more carefree because they know what they are doing. They kind of know that they can be crazy and it will be thought of as the most awesome thing ever. They've gotten the idea that they are famous by that point!

I really liked how similar the songs were to how they sounded on the album and in the real concerts. In this show, Mike Beyer played all the instruments that the Beatles didn't usually play in concert, so that you could have something that sounded like the album arrangement. I thought that the guitar solo on "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" was absolutely amazing. It was crazy how good it was; seeing it live rather than hearing it recorded was so amazing because you get to see him actually playing the guitar and how fast he's playing. I'm so happy they played "Eleanor Rigby" because that is one of my favorite songs. I think that one sounded the most similar to the album track to me. I also thought it was really cool how during "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds" they used projections from really old movies. They reminded me of, and might have been from, A Trip to the Moon by Georges Méliès. I guess ladies in the sky were a big thing in the early 1900s! I thought it was super cool how at the end they involved the whole audience in singing "Hey, Jude." It was great to sing all together. The Beatles were all about peace and love and equality, which I think is something that we really need now. Everyone was really together when we were singing, and I thought that was really beautiful.

People who would like this show are people who like nostalgia, rock and roll, and community. I think that people should go see this show. It is so fun to be at and I loved it.

Photos: Richard Lovrich

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