When tickets are purchased for a production at The Kentucky Center for the Arts, it is assumed a play is in town. The production of RAIN is straight from Broadway and is a play, sort of…kind of…in a way. The company of RAIN brought The Beatles to life for fans in Louisville with three performances, actually concerts, over the weekend. The audience attended for many reasons; to relive their childhood, to jam to some good music, to pass the love of The Beatles to a new generation. Hence forth, RAIN will be referred to as a concert, because that is what it is; a chronological presentation of The Beatles’ material with vintage clothing and instruments. The cast members include Louisville native and sound genius, Mark Beyer; David Leon as 'John', Tom Teely as 'George'; Ralph Castelli as 'Ringo'; and none other man can pull off 'Paul' like Joey Curatolo.
RAIN chronicled the entire catalog of The Beatles from the "Ed Sullivan Show" to Abbey Road. A broad selection of songs from all the albums reminded the audience of the meanings behind the music and the good that can come if we Give Peace a Chance. Opening with Hello, Goodbye; RAIN made the audience feel they were in the audience for the "Ed Sullivan Show" on February 9, 1964, the day the British Invasion began in America. "The Ed Sullivan Show" era began the show with the four lads dressed in complete replicas of the clothing worn by The Beatles when they appeared on the show nearly 50 years ago.
The next set performed went into the Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band era, where RAIN took the hearts of the audience with renditions fit for Queen Elizabeth herself. The amazing attention to detail brought the audience to their feet to dance more than a few times. ‘Paul’ was very friendly, inviting the audience to participate in the show by singing, dancing, and clapping along the way. Perhaps the song with the loudest singing was When I’m Sixty-Four. The group enjoyed this tune and made several references to the many ages represented in the audience.
Following a brief intermission, RAIN happily took the audience on A Magical Mystery Tour through the love and drug infused late sixties. The audience watched RAIN perform Strawberry Fields Forever, with faint smiles and soft eyes. A gentlemen about mid-way back from center stage went old school and stood up with lighter in hand to let the group know they were killing it. I Am the Walrus is such a well-known song and a favorite of the bands. The audience remained on their feet through the last songs of this set and could only sit for a moment before the much anticipated Abbey Road portion.
The audience cheered loudly with yells, whistles, and clapping as the company took the stage donned in Abbey Road attire. The complete and pure sound of The Beatles’ later albums took shape in this set with crisp chords from ‘John’ while ‘George’ offered a smooth bass. The drummer is one of the best percussionist, in this reviewer’s opinion. ‘Paul’ took on many of the speaking roles, encouraging the audience along the way, although he plays right-handed. The uncanny resemblance of the company to The Beatles only added to the ambiance of the production.
RAIN is on tour around the country and with a little luck and maybe a good word or two from the audience, the company will return to Louisville in the near future. The Spring gives Louisville Abbey Road on the River, so the fall and winter welcome RAIN back soon!