“When I find myself in times of trouble, Mother Mary comes to me…”. About 20 minutes into the flat, uninspired Beatles tribute “Let it Be”, I kept hoping that she would show up at the St. James theater with enough Demerol to end the misery. Two hours and ten minutes later, I was still out of luck but grateful to be released from the shackles of a lackluster production that consisted of over 40 usually-divine-but-in-this-case-truly- painful renditions of the Beatles’ incomparable repertoire.
Occasionally, I will attend Broadway shows and leave scratching my head asking, “Why?” In this particular case, I learned that the show was created to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the “Mop Tops.” So I’m still asking myself the same questions: “Why?” Why would a creative team throw together a moderately talented, but disengaging quartet of four performers to imitate John, Paul, George, and Ringo? Why would they choose to have no set but instead opt for cheap projections? Why would they encourage an audience (mostly comprised of baby boomers) to sing along when: a) most are singing the wrong words loudly and off-key and b) audiences are paying to be entertained, not to be the entertainers. The answer, of course, is that nostalgia sells. Most likely, the producers of this flim flam are banking on the fact that unsuspecting theater-goers will be duped into dropping over $100 per ticket, only to be reminded of groovier, peace lovin’ days gone by. If nostalgia and fun is what you seek, grab the Beatles White Album, crank the volume, and experience the genuine sound of a monumental group—complete without the distraction of those around you who are singing, talking, text messaging, and/or kicking the back of your seat. Your “ticket to ride” will be much more palpable and affordable.
“Let It Be” plays through Dec. 29th 2013 at the St. James Theater, 246 W. 44th Street NY NY. Tickets available at the box office or on telecharge.com.