I would not consider myself an avid Beatles fan. I am of course familiar with their music – who isn’t? – but I’ve never specifically sought it outThat being said, “Rain” playing at the Pantages through May 12thhas made me a fan.
“Rain” takes the audience on a journey through the Beatles’ history in America starting with their first appearance on the “Ed Sullivan Show” in 1964. The journey includes their performance at Shea Stadium, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, the Summer of Love and the Magical Mystery Tour. It is obvious that a lot of time and energy was expended to ensure that the costumes, sets and even mannerisms of the Fab Four are replicated as precisely as possible. However, the most impressive is how much Steve Landes, Joey Curatolo, Joe Bithorn and Ralph Castelli actually sound like the Beatles. The resemblance, sound and mannerisms are uncanny. It is no wonder that there is an announcement at the beginning of the show that none of the music heard throughout the performance is pre-recorded.
Beyond the amazing performances and music, what really makes the production memorable, are the giant screens with projections on either side of the stage. Before the show starts, fans can test their Beatles knowledge with trivia and interesting tidbits about the band. During the show, the screens are used to great effect revealing what the fans in the 1960’s were doing during the Beatles’ performances. There are fantastic clips of girls screaming and passing out at the Ed Sullivan show, and people being carried off the field at Shea Stadium. During a scene change they play commercials for shampoo and hair straightener that provide a glimpse into 1960’s advertising. It is the clever incorporation of these projections that turn what would be an excellent cover-band concert into a theatrical experience with the Beatles.
“Rain” is a must-see for any Beatles fan, and even if you’re not an avid fan, you’ll still have a great time!
*Coverage provided for the Culver City News