Although the Beatles made their last live performance in 1969, you can catch the closest thing in 2013 with the Broadway musical “Let It Be.” The incredible concert experience debuted at the Prince of Wales Theatre last September, and is in the midst of an open-ended West End run. The show recently made its U.S. debut at Broadway’s St. James Theatre on July 16—with the production’s opening night scheduled for July 24.
The idea was initially meant as homage to the Beatles’ 50th anniversary, but due to the show’s immense popularity, a transition to Broadway was inevitable. “Let It Be” takes fans on a trip back in time, starting with the formation of the iconic English rockers at the Cavern Club in Liverpool in the early 60s. The production then advances through other exceptionally notable events in the group’s timeline, including the first trip to America, the debut performance on national television on the Ed Sullivan Show, the lightning-fast ascent to international stardom, the record-setting live concert at Shea Stadium in New York, and the band’s ultimate demise.
Using video montages, elaborate scenery—which changes throughout the show to reflect the band members’ most significant influences during a given time in their careers—and hair-raising live performances of some of the band’s best songs, “Let It Be” provides an unmatched present-day “Beatlemania” experience. The jam-packed list of songs includes 40 altogether, with smash-hits like “Twist and Shout,” “She Loves You,” “Yesterday,” “Hey Jude,” “Come Together,” and of course, “Let It Be.”
The musical is set for a strictly limited engagement that is scheduled to come to an end on Dec. 29, so be sure to purchase your Let It Be tickets before time runs out.
While “Let It Be” is the latest attempt to bring the Beatles to life on stage, it is certainly not the first. “Rain – A Tribute to the Beatles” was wildly successful upon opening on Broadway in 2011, and is set to begin a new North American tour beginning in late October.
Of the many ways the group has been showcased on stage, television, movies, and other forms of pop culture, it may be a 1970 documentary film also named “Let It Be” that provides one of the most poignant looks at the group. Originally intended to document their journey through the album-making process for “Let It Be,” the film ultimately served as an in-depth depiction of the breakup of the world’s most celebrated band. The group won an Academy Award for Best Original Song Score for the film.