When Broadway theater landlords find themselves in times of trouble the solution frequently is to plug in a musical hit factory with a built-in fan base. And what more robust fan base than that of the Beatles?
Direct from London's West End, the latest Fab Four anthology show, "Let It Be," will begin performances July 16 at the St. James Theatre, with official opening slated for July 24.
A concert experience that combines live musicians with state-of-the-art projection technology, the show samples from 40 of the Beatles greatest hits, among them "Yesterday," "Hey Jude," "Come Together" and the title song.
Produced on Broadway by Jeff Parry/Annerin Productions, "Let It Be" is the latest in a string of Beatles tribute shows that includes Cirque du Soleil's "Love" and the bio-musical about the group's early days, "Backbeat." The genre had some success in the late '70s on Broadway with the revue "Beatlemania."
A similar concert-style salute, "Rain," played for nine months on Broadway in the 2010-11 season. While that show also came from Annerin Productions, the new anthology devotes more time to songs from the later years, after the band had stopped performing live.
The addition of "Let It Be" to Broadway's summer schedule continues a trend of limited-engagement music shows being brought in to fill gaps between legitimate musical and play bookings. The past season has seen strong business from concert runs by Barry Manilow and Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, as well as the Rascals nostalgia trip, "Once Upon a Dream."
Let It Be is scheduled to run through Dec. 29. Cast and creative team will be announced at a later date.
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