RAIN - a full tilt Beatles Tribute - arrived on Broadway, with the gift of a night of Beatles Magic.
The show marks the first appearance of Beatles music on Broadway since BEATLEMANIA, which ran for 1,006 performances - from 1977 to '79 - and was followed later by a self-titled Soundtrack and and a Feature Film.
The concept for RAIN actually predated BEATLEMANIA, and RAIN has an established reputation for replicating the experience of seeing The Beatles in concert that goes back over 35 years.
Two huge models of old fashioned TV sets provide the context for RAIN's performance. A montage of events from the '50's and '60's - leading to The Beatles arrival in America ( Feb., 1964 ) - brings younger fans up to speed and refreshes memories for those in the audience who grew up through the astonishing transformation arising from The Beatles and their influence across the broadest spectrum of life around the world.
A reproduction of the set from the Beatles first appearance on "The Ed Sullivan Show" ( 9 Feb., 1964 ) - a night that changed show business, and the world, forever - is the platform for RAIN'S first run of songs, including "I Want To Hold Your Hand", "All My Loving", "This Boy" and "I Saw Her Standing There".
Next up was a recreation of the historic Concert at Shea Stadium ( 15 August, 1965 ), featuring "I Feel Fine", "Day Tripper" and "Twist and Shout".
On to the Beatles most revered classic - "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band", with versions of that song, "A Little Help From My Friends", "Eleanor Rigby" ( from "Revolver" ) , "Strawberry Fields Forever" ( "Magical Mystery Tour" ) , then back to "Pepper" for "When I'm Sixty Four" and the revered "A Day In The Life."
A tribute to Sid Bernstein - a dear friend, and the man who brought the Beatles to America - was a touching interlude to the music.
Following Intermission, the performance flew on to cover such classics as "Hello, Goodbye'" and "I Am The Walrus" ( "Mystery Tour" ), "Girl" and "I've Just Seen A Face" ( "Rubber Soul" ), "We Can Work It Out" ( "Yesterday And Today" in America ), along with "Mother Nature's Son" and "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" from The "White Album".
A final round of the later phase of The Beatle's oeuvre included "Get Back" ( "Let It Be" ), "Hey Jude" ( on a Hits Album of the same title ), plus "Come Together" and "The End" from their classic "Abbey Road".
Kudos to cast members Steve Landers ( John Lennon ) , Joey Curatolo ( Paul McCartney ), Joe Bithorn ( George Harrison ) and Ralph Castelli
( Ringo Starr ) and keyboardist Mark Lewis for a muti-dimensional night of sights and sounds that summoned forth much of the musical genius - along with the fun, awe and wonder - that are why The Beatles will live forever.