Some day, somebody will surely write an absolutely stonking Beatles musical, one that will turn the astonishing journey of the most successful band of all time into a mind-frazzling odyssey of fearless sonic exploration, Jacobean grade emotional strife and general '60s grooviness.
'Let It Be' is not that musical. In fact, it's not even really a musical: it's basically a posh tribute gig, masterminded by one Joey Curatolo, mainstay of long-running US Beatles revue 'Rain'. And it is what it is: four blokes wearing wigs, playing instruments and changing costumes while bashing out proficient covers of the Fab Four's greatest hits in roughly chronological order.
With the stage flanked by kitschy big screens displaying Beatles trivia and a first section slavishly adherent to the band's clean cut early TV appearances, it gets off to an overly nostalgic start: sexless, rinky-dink takes on 'She Loves You', 'Please Please Me' et al rattled out without any of the guts or élan of a real gig.
But the Beatles ceased to play live in their later, more productive years, and 'Let It Be' moves up a gear when it stops trying to recreate archive footage and starts imagining what might have been. The 'Sgt Pepper's' section offers a ravishing wall of psychedelic sound and impressive day-glo costumes, while a delightfully loose acoustic run through late classics 'Blackbird', 'The Two of Us' and 'While My Guitar Gently Weeps' benefits from the odd flubbed note – the sterility of the early sections is gone, and the four musicians playing together actually sound like a real band.
In fact there are two bands, which play on different nights. The one I saw had a ropey Ringo – Phil Martin's drumming was fine, but his rendition of 'With A Little Help from My Friends' was bizarrely dolorous – and a slightly grating George – John Brosnan's singing was tolerable, but his cock rock riffing was not.
But Ian B Garcia's Paul McCartney and Michael Gagliano's John Lennon have the distinct vocals of the Beatles' twin leaders pretty much nailed and sing the later material with great force and gusto.
I could really have done without the attempts at in-character banter ('If you love peace… you'll put your hands together for this one.'), but by the time inevitable closer 'Hey Jude' comes around, you'd pretty much have to be in the wrong show not to be enjoying yourself.
You won't learn anything about the Beatles from 'Let It Be', and the production feels on the cheap side for a show of its scale – brass and strings etc all come from a bloke on a very un-'60s synth. If ambition was The Beatles' defining trait, there isn't a huge amount here. But it's likeable, with a well-chosen set list. And if you didn't already know that the songs are astonishingly good then there are far worse introductions.
Average User Rating
3.9 / 5
- 5 star:6
- 4 star:6
- 3 star:0
- 2 star:1
- 1 star:2
Excellent show. More of a concert than a musical but the cast were excellent, the staging fantastic and the intimate nature of the Savoy Theatre made the show come to life. The obvilous enjoyment the cast exhibit for the Beatles and their music was infectious and the entire audiance were dancing, clapping and singing along. Given the chance I'm sure that another hour or more of hits could easily have been played and it would not have dragged. For a two and a half hour show the time flew and I can only say Fab U Lous !!!
I did initially like it until I realised they weren't actually playing their guitars in some songs.. If your seats are in the first few rows you will see them strum about 2 - 3 inches away. Not good for a West End show.
I was a bit wary of taking my 18 yr old grandaughter.However ! she loved it and was bopping along with me. We went to the Jersey boys as well and she much prefered Let it be.I would have enjoyed more of the history but overall it was a good show.
Excellent show !!! Amazing and unexpected experience !!! For people our ages ( 60 plus ) it returned us to those gloriuos days of our youth. By closing our eyes we felt as in front of the real Beatles. Their similarity is amazing !!! And when opened our eyes saw all the people dancing and shouting at the alleys and between the seats just as then ..... We had a gorgeous time that didn't think it would be so. We hope that the young people from today would understand and love THAT MUSIC, OUR MUSIC !!! LET IT BE is the most perfect way for this to happen .
Very good and charming! People were dancing and singing along. Really enjoyed it - especially after getting some earplugs from a man sitting behind me;-) Do they need to have the sound that loud?
Brilliant show. It is a bt different to what I expected but still very good. I thought that Let it be would be a musical with a story of the band or something like this. Maybe a musical like Mama mia with songs from Abba. Actually, it is "just" a live concert from the fab 4. I don't want to appear restrictive. It was a brilliant show. The musicians mimic the beatles with incredible talent both physically and musically. They master the music and really give the impression to be back in the 60's and 70's. The evolution of costumes and the look of the musicians is also very very good, especially for John Lennon. You could easily mix him up with real one. It's astonishing. If you were young when the real beatles came up, it will bring back good memories. If you were not born, it is a good way to have an idea of the live concerts your parents might have seen/heard. Maybe only some fervor less but not because of the quality of the show !
A rip-off. Puts the West End to shame. I left at the interval. (my star rating is O - couldn't work out how to indicate that ...)
It was absolutely amazing!! I really enjoy listening to these great musicians. Even when they played well-known songs, they also contributed and enriched them with their talent and personality. Something to improve is the air conditioned in the theather...it's boiling hot there.
I watched it on July 8th and it was pretty sweet!!!!! It deserves better reviews. Sure, it's not a typical musical that you would get in West End but the whole show was just brilliant!!! The actors look so much like the actual Beatles band members (especially John Lennon). This show is just amazing!!!!
Well, I saw the show on 19 July 2013 and thought it was brilliant! Maybe they read the negative reviews and improved in those areas. Paul and John were so much like the real thing, it was amazing! And the music was great. The auditions would have been so hard, trying to find look-alikes who could play and sing, let alone find a left-handed guitar player. The audience that night felt as excited as I did and I really felt it was value for money. Loved it!
rubbish and an insult to The Beatles! There are two casts one is slightly better in terms of look-alikes and sounding a little like the Beatles, but even they are a poor tribute band and struggle on the higher notes. The second cast while they sing in tune more are laughable, they sound nothing like the real Beatles, unless you are very drunk and John and Paul look more like Robson and Jerome. Both Paul's are right handed! and I have no idea where they hail from, but English certainly doesn't sound like either s native tongue. both have very poor diction, one of them looks and sounds more like Shakin Stevens! This isn't a West End show it is a travesty!
Show was great - excellent performance of excellent music; lots of fun. But BEWARE: the phone number listed above for the theater is NOT the theater phone number. It's a rip-off ticket agency that charged me £52 for a ticket I later found out the theater would have charged me £40 for. The guy in the next seat paid £35. Of course they hid this on the phone. How much does Time Out make from this FRAUD?