Concert Review: RAIN — A Tribute to the Beatles
By Betty Mohr Concert Reviewemail@example.com June 27, 2012 4:00PM
RAIN — A Tribute to the Beatles' performance includes a trip to "The Ed Sullivan Show." | Cylla von Tiedemann photo
RAIN — A TRIBUTE
TO THE BEATLES
◆ Through July 1
◆ Oriental Theatre, 24 W. Randolph St., Chicago
◆ Tickets, $25 to $75
Groups of 15 or more should call
◆ (800) 775-2000,
Updated: July 30, 2012 6:12AM
You don’t have to be a die-hard Beatles fan to get a kick out of this nostalgic romp of a show.
But if you are, then RAIN — A Tribute to the Beatles might feel like nirvana.
The hoot of a concert, playing at the Oriental Theatre in Chicago, is as close as you can get to reliving musical yesteryear.
You have great musicians impersonating the legendary four, singing 30 of the Beatles’ classics including “This Boy,” “Just Seventeen,” “Hard Day’s Night,” “Yesterday,” “I Saw Her Standing There” and “I Want to Hold Your Hand.”
You don’t have to compare the four performers on stage to the original mop-headed wonders to appreciate RAIN’s musical talent.
The performers are Mac Ruffing as Paul McCartney, Jim Irizarry (a native of Chicago’s Bridgeport neighborhood) as John Lennon, Douglas Cox as Ringo Starr, and Tom Teeley as George Harrison.
All four of RAIN’s members play their own instruments and capture the Beatles sound, as well as the group’s innocence, movements and even their Liverpudlian accents.
A big part of the charm of the show is reliving the 1960s and early ’70s.
RAIN features a fantastic video design in which documentary footage of the times is captured on two large screens that flank the stage and another that’s upstage behind the quartet.
While the group sings up a storm, the video screens project the Beatles’ historic first appearance on “The Ed Sullivan Show.”
Documentary footage includes John F. Kennedy’s presidency and the 1965 Beatles concert at Shea Stadium where young women fainted and the police tried to keep fans from rushing the musical heroes.
Throughout RAIN’s performance there is a spectacular light show alongside the foursome’s costume changes.
They go from the Beatles’ “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club” days and “Abbey Road” outfits to psychedelically colored Summer of Love threads.
As RAIN belts out the iconic songs there’s a video montage of animation from the Beatles’ films, album covers and the band getting off a plane when the members first step foot in America.
All of the exuberant RAIN performers look to be having a great time as did the audience who seemed enraptured in a time warp.
The interactive show encouraged theatergoers to sing along, which they did with wild abandon.
Indeed, by show’s end, the fans still hadn’t had enough. The audience clapped and clapped, yelling for more, and the spirited troupe responded with two encores.
There’s nothing pretentious here. RAIN is a good-feeling, wonderful trip down memory lane. It’s one of the most fun shows of the season.
Betty Mohr is a local freelancer writer.