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Beatles' Tribute RAIN Best Thing to Seeing Them Live

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RAIN: A Tribute to the Beatles“The next best thing to seeing the Beatles,” says the Denver post, and I’ve got to agree. 

RAIN covers the Fab Four from their very first Ed Sullivan appearance through the Abbey Road album, through the psychedelic late 60s and their long-haired hippie, days. For more than two decades, RAIN has distinguished itself by focusing on details, always being faithful to The Beatles with the ultimate goal of delivering a perfect note-for-note performance. All the music is performed live, with no pre-recorded tapes or sequences. The four onstage members are veterans of the made-for-Broadway stage show Beatlemania and not only project the physical looks, speech and traits of the immortal lads from Liverpool, but the camaraderie and charisma The Beatles possessed. 

RAIN features different scene and costume changes, 3 video screens and live camera projection, combining vintage television commercials and historic video footage with some really fun stuff! All has been recreated with great detail right down to every note of music performed live. For the four longtime band members – Joey Curatolo (Paul McCartney), Joe Bithorn (George Harrison), Ralph Castelli (Ringo Starr) and Steve Landes (John Lennon), with a little help from their friend Mark Lewis (keyboards, percussion) – the music is first and foremost. 

RAIN: A Tribute to the Beatles"To replicate the Beatles' studio sounds on stage (and with no pre-recorded tracks) would be impossible without prodigious musicianship." This group of talented musicians have tackled and accomplished this daunting task." A Rain show typically runs 2 1/2 hours, with the songs performed in their original keys. The Beatles themselves quit touring in 1966. The pioneering, intricate recordings from Sergeant Pepper through Abbey Road were never performed live by the group. That adds another dimension of difficulty for Rain. But the band - supplemented by various sounds of the Beatles background instrumentation from offstage keyboardist Lewis' synthesizer and, when needed, Joe Bithorn's guitar synthesizer - carries through." 

The musical journey begins at the beginning with The Ed Sullivan Show appearance and "I Want to Hold Your Hand," "Close Your Eyes," and "I Saw Her Standing There." 

Second Set- Shea Stadium with a record holding 56,000 fans and tunes "Hard Day's Night," "Yesterday," "Day Tripper" and the still ever popular "Twist and Shout," which brought the crowd to their feet. 

The Third set welcomes in the Sgt. Pepper Era with those colorful, gaudy costumes and memorable songs "A Little Help from My Friends", "Eleanor Rig by", with some nifty video graphics, "Strawberry Field." The whimsical "When I'm 64" which the nearly sold out crowd was heard down to the Kimmel Center singing ”will you still need me, will you still feed me when I'm 64", and of course the finale of the Sgt. Pepper album featuring the same titled song and "Turn You On." 

The Beatles never performed this music live beyond 1966, so to hear and see this memorable music performed by such outstanding talent is a rare treat. One of the most astounding things about this experience is the audience. From 7 to 70 years old, they sang along, stood, cheered and bopped in their seats and became joyously caught up in the evening as if they were enjoying this music for the first time. 

The Second Act (fourth set) – Flower Power featuring plenty of flashbacks of meditation, incense, nonsense and who knows what else many were doing resulting in such songs as " Goodbye/Hello," I Am The Walrus," "Girl" from the Rubber Soul Album, "Mother Nature's Son" and a rousing "My Guitar Gently Weeps," which showcases George Harrison (Joe Bithhorn's extraordinary talent on guitar). 

RAIN: A Tribute to the BeatlesThe Fifth Set, almost 2 hours into the show, takes us to the Abbey Road journey of 1969-70 from "Golden Slumbers," "Come Together," "Get Back," Give Peace A Chance,"Blackbird" to "Carry That Weight," which drummer Ralph Castelli (Ringo), shows his great stuff right into "The End." Encore numbers, “Let It Be” and “Hey Jude” are exactly what you would hope to end truly one of the strongest tributes to one of the most widely loved original groups in history. 

RAIN plays at the Academy of Music, Broad Street, Philadelphia through Feb. 7. For tickets and more information: Call 215-731-3333 or visit http://www.kimmelcenter.org/broadway/

 

PHOTOS: 

 

RAIN: A Tribute to the Beatles
Left to Right: Joey Curatolo, Ralph Castelli, Joe Bithorn, Steve Landess
Photo: Joan Marcus
February 2 - 7, 2010
Academy of Music
  RAIN: A Tribute to the Beatles
Left to Right: Joe Bithorn, Steve Landes
Photo: Joan Marcus
February 2 - 7, 2010
Academy of Music
  RAIN: A Tribute to the Beatles
Left to Right: Joey Curatolo, Ralph Castelli, Joe Bithorn, Steve Landes
Photo: Joan Marcus
February 2 - 7, 2010
Academy of Music