Rain: The Beatles Experience

A Beatles Show That Shines

When Joseph Gargano invited us to see "Rain: The Beatles Experience" I could tell from his enthusiasm that it would be mind blowing.

Sid Bernstein, the legendary Beatles promoter, and his business manager and partner, Joseph Gargano, are truly onto something special, promoting one of the most exciting Beatle multimedia shows currently on tour. I've seen many of the top Beatle cover bands and shows, but this one stands out.

We ultimately saw Rain at The American Academy of Music in Philadelphia, PA on January 6. Today, I am still mentally digesting that evening. My husband, Steve, and I were fortunate to be the personal guests of Bernstein and Gargano.

A packed crowd stood up and cheered Bernstein, who introduced Rain from the stage. Bernstein's appearance lent a measure of credibility and familiarity, because he's straight from the days of Beatles pandemonium. As all die-hard Beatles fans know, Bernstein was the first to bring the Fab Four to the United States more than 40 years ago.

The video on multiple screens prepared us initially for the arrival of The Beatles in the United States. For example, vintage video was shown from the '60s of rock and roll icons Chuck Berry, Bill Haley and The Comets and Elvis Presley. There are also actual news clips on the assassinations of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and President John F. Kennedy, as well as archival footage of Woodstock, TV commercials from the '60s and historical '60s music accompanying all of this in the background throughout the set changes. Finally, there was an explosive moment depicting The Beatles stepping off the plane in America and Ed Sullivan announcing Rain. This show effectively gave the audience a powerful sense that America was ready to be rocked and rolled by a tremendous force: The Beatles.

The excitement continued when Rain appeared onstage, looking and sounding just like the Beatles. For the first scene, they wore custom tailored suits, winkle picker boots and exquisite mop top wigs. They wore authentic costumes during all five scenes with costume changes that were in sequence with the Beatles story from Ed Sullivan to Abbey Road.

Rain consists of Steve Landes as John Lennon, Joey Curatolo as Paul McCartney, Joe Bithorn as George Harrison, Ralph Castelli as Ringo Starr and Mark Lewis as an additional musician who plays keyboards and percussion. With the exception of Landes, the remainder of the band has previously all performed in Beatlemania.

Maureen Shames

Maureen Shames has written for the Sentinel, a Greater Media Newspaper in Middlesex County, and was Editorial Assistant of The Jewish Voice of Greater Monmouth County. She has also freelanced for the Asbury Park Press and The Atlantic City Press. As a hobby, she enjoys honing her writing skills by writing music reviews, and these are her true passion! She has written reviews for the Greasy Lake website of Bruce Springsteen concerts, and for Beatles cover band websites such as the Fab Faux and the Fab Four.