Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Let It Be @ The St. James Theatre

                  If you always wanted to see the Beatles but thought you missed your opportunity, Broadway has the show for you: “Let It Be.”  “Let It Be” is basically a concert performance of all your favorite Beatles songs including, “Strawberry Fields Forever”,” Revolution”,  “Yesterday”, “Day Tripper”, “Here comes the Sun”, and of course “Let it Be.”  The show is being performed at the St. James Theatre on W. 44ST Street in NYC.   
                Let It Be provides the audience with its very own versions of John, Paul, George, and Ringo.   The show takes you on a journey throughout the years with the Beatles.  The stars of the show perform the songs as if they were performing at a concert; playing songs from each album the Beatles had.  The “venue” changes with some different backdrops and pieces as we move through the years.  After each set, the curtain comes down and we get a little history of what era it is and occasionally a Beatle explaining the music they are playing.  We got to go from the beginning “Mop Top”, to “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band”, to “Abbey Road”, to their famous concert at  Shea Stadium. The show ended with the fan favorite “Hey Jude” which had the audience up out of their seats singing along

                   Although this production has a ton of similarities to the 2010 Broadway hit Rain: A Tribute to the Beatles, the tech is was separates the two productions. Rain tried to appear as the Beatles in the time of their fame, making it appear as if they were using technology from that time. But Let It Be brings a legendary band to the stage using the technology of the twenty first century. Jason Lyons lights make the audience feel as if they were in a rock concert of today and Duncan McLean's video projections helped set the different time periods that the Beatles lived through.

                The show was incredibly entertaining.  The audience was a mix of old and new fans alike, but one thing was certain: everyone was enjoying themselves. You could see the audience really get into the music and start to dance in their seats.  The performers were good at playing the famous songs and were pretty good at singing them.  They each acted the part of whoever they were playing quite well.  At times the audience acted like it was the height of Beatlemania all over again.

If you love Beatles music, and a good time, Let It Be is a must see.

Review By: James Russo

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Forever Tango @ The Walter Kerr Theater


Forever Tango opens July 14th at the Walter Kerr Theatre for a limited ten week engagement. The show debuted at the Walter Kerr in 1997 and has now returned to add a little spice to the Broadway world. A two hour show that features spectacular partnered dance, gorgeous music, and 5 time Grammy winner Gilbert Santa Rosa delights audiences.

Directed and created by Luis Bravo(Malambo), this dance show captivates the emotional sense of the human psyche as the dancers reveal the inner workings of their souls through one of the most sensual forms of ballroom dance – the tango. Eight couples are featured while the headliners, Karina Smirnoff and Maksim Chmerkovskiy (Dancing with the Stars) show their skill with a dance in Act 1 and Act 2 and guest singer, Gilbert Santa Rosa shares his music.

Although, I do not speak Spanish and therefore could not understand a word being sung, I could not only enjoy the performance as a musician, but also understand the feeling of that which was being sung. Love and heartbreak are universal languages after all.

Juan Horvath(Tango Significo) and his partner Victora Galoto (Love Liza and Sweet Charity) thrill with technical footwork and gravity defying tricks while Natalia Turelli and Ariel Manzanares reveal the lighter side of tango with comedic relief and the use of flirtation. The group dances are a joy to watch and you can really tell the amount of trust and dedication to the art that these dancers possess.

Get to the Walter Kerr Theatre; enjoy the spiciness of Latin dance done as only the best can do it. The show runs until September 15th and will have Luis Enriquez joining as a guest singer for a limited time starting July 30th.