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Sunday, 07 November 2010 11:13

Broadway Review: RAIN - A TRIBUTE TO THE BEATLES

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The Cast of Rain - A Tribute to the Beatles The Cast of Rain - A Tribute to the Beatles Photo: Cylla von Tiedemann
Rain - A Tribute to the Beatles, the new “musical” that opened on Broadway this past week is not exactly what I would call a musical.  Honestly, the most theatrical thing about it are some costume and lighting changes. There is not the slightest conceit of actual characters.  This is strictly a Beatles tribute band.  Thankfully the cast are all wonderful musicians who do a remarkable job with the Beatle's music.

The five musicians listed in the Playbill are listed without a “character” name next to them, just their instruments.  The fifth Beatle fills in the sound with a synthesizer and remains dressed in black. The actors’ physical resemblance, while certainly not critical, is vague.  There is no director listed for the show.  You see how I  might be loath to approach this from a theatrical stand-point.  The five musicians are Steve Landes, Joey Curatolo, Joe Bithorn, Ralph Castelli and Mark Beyer.  

Despite my liking the Beatles music, the fact that the musicians are talented, the wonderful projections by Darren McCaulley and Mathieu St-Arnaud and the authentic looking costumes (for which there was no credit in the Playbill) the piece feels corny.  The band’s imploring the audience to participate only makes it feel even more so.  Stephan Gotschel’s lighting, while attractive, was distracting considering that they didn’t have Vara-Lights in the 1960s.  (Vara-Lights can be programmed to move).  I also resent having lights shone in my eyes for two hours.  Approximately half of the show there are two rows of parcans being shone directly into the audience from the top of the procenium.  If you are a lighting designer on Broadway, you better have a damn good reason to shine lights in my eyes.

For a couple of different takes on this production I suggest you read Christopher Isherwood’s “New York Times” review and a counter-review from the “Huffington Post’s” James Rotondi.

Additional Info

  • Theatre: Neil Simon Theatre
  • Theatre Address: 250 West 52nd St. New York, NY 10019
  • Show Style: Musical
Last modified on Sunday, 07 November 2010 12:13

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