Rain: A Tribute to the Beatles

The story goes that when he was six years old, Ralph Castelli saw the Beatles on The Ed Sullivan Showand decided what he wanted to do for the rest of his life — namely, play drums. But for the past 27 years, Castelli has gone beyond that with even more specificity. Because for almost three decades, he’s played Ringo Starr, first in the touring production of Beatlemania, then in Beatlemania: The Movie and finally in Rain: A Tribute to the Beatles. He was even Ringo Starr on Broadway. Now local fans can check out his musical skills when Rain comes to Houston for a two-night stand. “The first set is identical to the Ed Sullivan show and everything in that part of the show is in black and white,” Castelli said. He goes through six costume changes as the show moves through time, and adds color. During the part when the show recreates the Beatles playing at Shea Stadium in 1965, he said, “You feel like you’re in a coliseum.”

Recreating some of the Beatles’ most famous moments onstage and some 30 of their hit songs, including “I Wanna Hold Your Hand,” “Let It Be,” and “Hey Jude,” Rain is performed as a series of concert scenes. The performers ask the audience to join in, although most won’t need an invitation. Castelli warns us, “This isn’t a show when anyone is going to shush audience members for singing along.” 8 p.m. Friday, 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday. Hobby Center, 800 Bagby. For information, call 800-982-2782 or visit www.broadwayacrossamerica.com/houston. $25 to $70.
Fri., Nov. 18; Sat., Nov. 19, 2011

 
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