Rain: A Tribute to the Beatles Closing (Theater and Galleries) The Short List (Theater)

When: March 3-8 2009

"Rain" isn't "I Want to Hold Your Hand." Issued in 1966, as the b-side to "Paperback Writer," it's a trippy, textured bit of Lennonist wit, with a mystical edge and some lyrics experimentally run backwards at the end. So when I heard that a Beatles show called Rain was touring to Chicago, I thought to myself, "This won’t be 'I Want to Hold Your Hand.'" I was mistaken. Though it offers some nice, relatively loose moments after intermission--which is to say, from "Hello Goodbye" to Abbey Road's "Golden Slumbers" medley--most of this 26-song tribute (which, by the way, starts with "I Want to Hold Your Hand") is not only conventional but remarkably cheesy. How cheesy? You can see slits in some big arrows on the set, where the box cutters apparently nicked them as they were being cut out. The cast members look a little long in the tooth to play men in their mid- to late-20s, and they make unBeatle-like lounge-act gestures now and then. For all that they seem to enjoy themselves and the Beatles, the main message they convey is that there's a yawning abyss between them and the people who created the music they play at playing. --Tony Adler

Price: $35-$75

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