Relive the past from Ed Sullivan to Abbey Road, with favorite hits including Hard Day’s Night, Day Tripper, Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, Twist and Shout, Get Back, I Wanna Hold Your Hand, Strawberry Fields, and imagine the reunion that never was…
This ultimate celebration of The Beatles’ music seems to have been carefully designed in accordance with a knowledge of the fan base as well as the intricacies of the music itself, and the group’s members’ personalities both individually and collectively. All things considered, Annerin Productions, gave us the show which reflects just that, except the robotic-style approach to every single detail seems to take away from the fact that it is presented as an actual live show, with the full expectation of audience participation and extremely overt excitement. The production, which began in 2012, and recently celebrated its one thousandth show, turns back the hands of time and recreates a time when the Beatles reunited and came together for one night in 1980 (John Lennon’s 40th Birthday) and performed their hits. It further expands to include physical changes in their personal style and music that reflected who they were and the laid-back lifestyle they led that encompassed the changing world around them. It also gives the audience the opportunity to go a step further by listening to many hits that were never performed live.
In theory alone, this should have been a major success. For the legions of fans that think the Beatles’ music is some of the best ever made, it is logical to expect them to support any rendition or replica that reflects the true spirit of the world’s most successful rock & roll band. And they did. Every fan in the audience stood and sang every single line of every single hit, including Twist And Shout, Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club, Hey Jude, I Wanna Hold Your Hand, and more. From the falling strawberries in the backdrop during Strawberry Fields, to the prolific commercials that played along the perimeters of the stage, not a detail was missed in recapturing the moments in time that catapulted the Beatles into International Stardom.
What was missed, though, was the opportunity to use all the resources available to make this production a seamless, real-life tribute that would be the envy of Liverpool’s Cavern Club. Unfortunately, as good as it felt to hear the music, and to witness the elaborate costuming and voice enhancements with spot-on characterization, it just didn’t come across as the real thing and as far as I’m concerned, they should just let it be the way all of us remembered it best.
Now playing at the Music Hall at Fair Park March 7 – 19