John, Paul, George, Ringo, Broadway: A Brief History of The Beatles on the Great White Way
The Fab Four are almost as popular on Broadway as they are in the rest of the world.
Maybe you waited for them to arrive at JFK Airport. Maybe you danced to one of their songs at your wedding. Or you at least know all of the words to "Yellow Submarine." Whatever your connection, one thing is true: The Beatles, one of the most popular bands the world has ever seen, have never gone out of style.
While none of The Beatles members ever played Broadway (though Paul McCartney came the closest, appearing at the Minskoff Theatre in an Actors Fund one-night-only tribute to Frank Loesser in 2009), their music has rarely been absent. Whether it's Tom Stoppard's Rock ‘n' Roll (which used The Beatles' cover of "Rock and Roll Music") or Christopher Durang's Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike (which allows the audience to exit to the strains of "Here Comes the Sun"), the songs of the Fab Four are as popular on the Great White Way as they are everywhere else.
Here's a look at five shows that not only take their musical selections from The Beatles, but are devoted to the legendary band, as well.
Number of performances on Broadway: 5 previews; 1006 performances.
Theater: Winter Garden; Lunt-Fontanne; Palace. Year(s): 1977-1979.
Synopsis: The classic songs of The Beatles set against the backdrop of the tumultuous 1960s.
Tagline: "Not the Beatles, but an incredible simulation."
Number of performances on Broadway: 8 previews; 300 performances.
Theater: Neil Simon; Brooks-Atkinson.
Synopsis: A concert devoted to the music of The Beatles, featuring four costumed impersonators.
Tagline: "A Tribute to The Beatles on Broadway."
Let It Be
Number of performances on Broadway: 9 previews (officially opens July 24, 2013).
Theater: St. James.
Synopsis: A concert devoted to the music of The Beatles, featuring performers in costume.
Tagline: "A celebration of the music of The Beatles."
Number of performances on Broadway: 42 previews; 49 performances.
Synopsis: John Lennon's songs are used to tell the story of his life, with Lennon himself played by multiple performers of various ages, sexes, and ethnicities.
Tagline: "His words. His music. His story."
Number of performances on Broadway: Has not yet played Broadway.
Theater: The Duke of York's, London's West End; Royal Alexandria, Toronto; Ahmanson, Los Angeles.
Year(s): 2011-2012 (London); 2012 (Toronto); 2012-2013 (Los Angeles).
Synopsis: Adapted from the 1994 film, Iain Softley's drama explores how a group of Liverpudlian children became The Beatles and follows the love triangle between original bassist Stuart Sutcliffe, photographer Astrid Kirchherr, and songwriter John Lennon.
Tagline: "The Birth of The Beatles."