August 12th, 2013
byLois Anzelowitz Levine
As much as I am a fan of contemporary rock (Black Keys, Rihanna, Coldplay), I have to admit I am also a classic rock and roll dinosaur, having come of age in the mid 1970s and 80s. In college, even though it was post-breakup, I was still a bonafide Beatles fanatic, complete with card-carrying fan club membership and appropriate tears and screams when I blasted “Meet the Beatles” or “Revolver.” So, naturally, I went gaga for “Let it Be,” the Beatles “concert experience” currently on Broadway, through Dec. 29. The show was designed to celebrate the band’s 50th anniversary (an import from London’s West End). It has everything a Fab Four fan would delight in, four talented young musicians that authentically mimic John, Paul, George and Ringo. Graham Alexander’s voice was eerily pitch perfect when it came to channeling Paul: ditto for the looks of John Brosnan as George and Reuven Gershon as John. Throughout the show, footage framed by old-fashioned radios and televisions show props project images of 1960s Great Beatles Moments (Ed Sullivan Show, Shea Stadium), along with nostalgia-inducing bits from 1960s shows, commercials and historic moments (“The Avengers,” a smiling John Kennedy, Neil Armstrong on the moon). In chronological order, we revisit the epic journey of the World’s Most Famous Rock Band, from early days at the Cavern in Liverpool, through their visits to the U.S., transitioning into the more hippie and druggie days of Sgt. Peppers (Lucy in Sky with Diamonds included psychedelic lights and pop art film segments), ending with great songs from the “White Album,” “Let it Be” and “Abbey Road.” A rendition of “Yesterday” still moves, and rocking out to “Revolution” never gets old. Meanwhile, it was refreshing and interesting to see quite the mix of demographics in the crowds: 20somethings mouthing along with 60somethings to “All You Need is Love.” Nothing wrong with bringing that message back.
» St. James Theatre, 246 W. 44th St., 212.239.6200.