This is the problem with any production of this type. People come expecting to see and hear what they remember. In this case, they get neither. Oh sure, the songs are familiar, the accents sound about right, but these gentleman don’t vocally blend like the Beatles did. There were a couple of songs where this was particularly egregious, “Eleanor Rigby” and “Magical Mystery Tour.” This could as easily have been blamed on sound engineering as it could on the singers either not listening to, or not hearing each other.
The only thing remotely theatrical about this show is their costumes and the impressive projections by Duncan McClean with credit for the original projections going to Darren McCaulley and Matthew St. Arnault.
The actors performing this are nothing more than a glamorized cover band. Graham Alexander (Bass, Piano, Lead Vocals), Ryan Coath (Guitar, Piano, Lead Vocals), JT Curtis (Guitar), and Chris McBurney (Drums) are simply listed as “musicians.” They are, only once to my recollection, referred to by name, Paul, John, George and Ringo, respectively. The musicians are not billed with character names, they are simply listed as “musician.” They are joined by a fifth player, John Korba on keyboards.
The four gentleman you come expecting to see are not there, not even in the minds of the four men playing them, with Ringo at one point holding up an album and jokingly referring to it as a CD. There is no consistency to these gentlemen’s performances. Fine musicianship, but that’s about it.
Looking around, I got the impression that most folks felt the same way I did. There was a dullness to their look, like they were being forced to sit through it. When the men call from the stage to stand up and sing, the audience reluctantly falls in line and stands up, but just as many don’t.
If you really want to see a Beatles tribute band, you can probably find one at your local Holiday Inn lounge that will do just as nicely and at a fraction of the cost. Better yet, put on a Beatles album or movie and you will be more entertained.
Let it Be is scheduled to play at the St. James theatre through December 22, 2013.