Almost everyone knows that The Beatles are one of the most acclaimed bands in rock and roll history because their music has the hypnotic qualities that made teenage girls scream and artists today and yesterday cite them as one of their influences.
While many of us don’t have the opportunity to see the two surviving Beatles Paul McCartney or Ringo Starr live in concert these days, the closest thing to watching an actual Beatles concert will be In My Life – A Musical Theatre Tribute to the Beatles, which returns to the Newmark Theatre on October 10 at 7:30 pm. The show played to a capacity audience at the Newmark Theatre in June 2014 and at the Aladdin Theater in October 2015.
You mean just another tribute band? No, because not all tribute bands are alike.
This one portrays the Beatles—John Lennon (Nathaniel Bott), Paul McCartney (Christopher Overall), George Harrison (Zak Schaffer) and Ringo Starr (Axel Clarke)—as authentically as possible, from their singing to the myriad of guitars used throughout the band’s decade-long career. Listening to songs like “Penny Lane” or “I Want To Hold Your Hand” from this tribute band is almost like listening to the original icons themselves. The cast members are age appropriate for the Beatles, between 22 - 32 years of age.
While the great repertoire of songs bind this musical together, the audience also gets the opportunity to relive the most important moments of The Beatles’ epic legacy, which spans the entire 1960s period. The actors that portray the band members connect with the crowd through their lovable sense of humors and cheeky banter.
As one watches The Beatles progress throughout that decade, the band's manager Brian Epstein (Murphy Martin) makes his presence known throughout the musical, narrating his side of the story starting from his discovery of the Fab Four at the Cavern Club in Liverpool up until after the release of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. Epstein plays a very important role in this show, not only because he was the man who discovered the group, but he also influenced their personal touch with audiences and, of course, their fashion sense. Who could forget the image of the four dressed up in suits on their arrival at New York’s JFK Airport in 1964?
This show is not just about reliving the breakthrough Ed Sullivan Show performance on February 9, 1964 that 78 million people watched on television, or reviving their deafening and packed Shea Stadium concert in 1965, it also touches on the band’s intimate moments in the recording studio. The audience observes the four in the studio as they struggle to reconcile their creative differences after Epstein’s death in 1967, a couple months after the release of Sgt. Pepper.
As for inspiration for the musical, Tom Maher, one of the co-producers alongside Andy Nagle, said that a friend gave him a biography on Epstein, which was the basis of the “In My Life” musical.
“It took a while to get the pacing, but we are happy with the results,” Maher said.
Maher added that he wanted to make the portrayal as accurate as possible, with the band using the exact gear from the box amps to the guitars. Even the costumes they used throughout the performance—from the suits to the ensembles they wore during their Sgt. Pepper’s period—mirror the originals designs.
The show in Portland is part of a 110 stop tour of the U.S. and Canada. The show has been touring since 2008.
The San Diego Theatre Review called the show "the most original of all Beatles shows" and a "flat out great show!" The Los Angeles Times said "the show delivers," and the Idaho Statesman said "this is the ticket for you!"
In My Life - A Musical Theatre Tribute to The Beatles is the award-winning musical biography of The Beatles through the eyes of manager Brian Epstein and features the live music of renowned tribute band Abbey Road. The show is widely considered by industry insiders to be the most unique Beatles show in decades. The multi-media musical returns to the Newmark Theatre on October 10 at 7:30 pm. Tickets are $35 - $65 and may be purchased online at www.portland5.com, by phone at 800-273-1530, all Ticketswest locations or at the Theatre Box Office Monday - Saturday from 10 am - 5 pm and two hours prior to events. The Newmark Theatre and Box Office is located at 1111 SW Broadway, Portland, OR 97205.