“Rain” More than Just a Tribute to the Beatles
Read More: Richmond Centerstage
Between the man sitting behind me quoting off Beatles trivia and the duo on the other side who were adamant on the “Paul is Dead” legend, I knew this wasn’t going to be an average Richmond CenterStage audience. These were hardcore Beatles fans and they had high expectations for “Rain: A Tribute to the Beatles.”
The lights go down and a video screen plays historic TV footage with teenage girls in hysterics and Ed Sullivan introducing the group. The curtain goes up to a flurry of excitement and as “Rain” starts to play “I Want To Hold Your Hand,” I look around and see the older members of the crowd screaming and losing their minds. It turns out that after almost 50 years, Beatlemania is still alive and well.
Although most of the crowd are old enough to remember the actual Beatles playing on the Ed Sullivan show, the range of ages varies as “Paul” was quick to point out.
“Thank you to all the youngsters for being here,” he says. “And thank you Mum and Dad for brainwashing them properly.”
“Rain” is more of a concert than a theater production, but that doesn’t stop the theatrics from being over the top. As the show progresses from the mop tops and suits to the psychedelic costumes of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band to the “Abbey Road” days, “Rain” pulls out all the stops to recreate the shows the Beatles were known for. The video screens feature trippy and fun animations that make the show more than just a bunch of guys singing Beatles songs. The actors playing the “Fab Four” are pretty convincing as the real thing, down to the mannerisms and the quirky bits. For all we know in this performance, these guys ARE the Beatles.
The show runs more than two hours with an intermission, which allows for plenty of songs from the Beatles’ ever impressive catalog. Every song you’d want to hear from is played including hits like “A Hard Day’s Night” and “When I’m 64″ to unexpected choices like “Rocky Raccoon,” and not to end things on a dull note, “Rain” gets everyone in on the singing for the final performance of “Hey Jude.” By the end of the show, I was left wanting to hear songs left out.
While not the actual Beatles, “Rain” does a fine job of taking us back in time to see John, Paul, George and Ringo one more time. They are so convincing that many of the women still fainted after all those years.
“Rain: A Tribute to the Beatles” plays again Sunday, Nov. 6 at 2 p.m. at Richmond CenterStage. Get tickets by calling 592-3400 or richmondcenterstage.com.
Andrew Cothern is a music lover and media professional in Richmond, Va. specializing in photography and video production. Check out his music blog Richmond Playlist.
Richmond’s performing arts venue Richmond Centerstage announced today on its website it received a $5.5 million grant from Dominion Resources tol be used for “ongoing operation, maintenance and physical improvement to the facility.” The 87-year-old East Grace Street venue, which encompasses The 1,800-seat Carpenter Theatre, the multi-use space Rhythm Hall; the Libby S. Gottwald Playhouse; and the [...]December 15, 2015
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