Friday, May 18, 2018

Fab Four Friday

Shelley Sweet-Tufano is back with another Guest Concert Review ...

This time around ... The Fab Four!

I wonder … when asked, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” did they answer, “The Beatles!”???  

The string music begins, followed closely by Penn Gillette’s recorded introduction. And out comes … George Trullinger, as Ed Sullivan.  

I have been so tickled to see all the hype here in Forgotten Hits around The Fab Four. I have been following them since the beginning of the new century, bringing my kids, their friends, and my students to various locations to experience the music and the historical representations. Sure, I have tons of videos of The Beatles and their movies, but the magic of seeing them perform live (even when it was over the telly) was something breathtaking. This was as close as I could give to the children around me, who were soaking up 60’s music like it was water, and they were parched. So on with the SHOE!  

The Fab Four is an all-live show that portrays, in progressive form, The Beatles' performances. It continues through the time that The Beatles retreated into the studio and lets us hear and see what would have happened if The Beatles had performed their studio hits live on stage. Tonight they begin in the Shea Stadium suits and open with ‘Please Please Me’. They continue:
                ‘All My Loving’
                ‘I Want To Hold Your Hand’
                A new number for them - 'It Won’t Be Long’
                ‘A Hard Day’s Night’
                ‘Eight Days A Week’  

The show is a multi-media performance blending the music with actual Beatles footage and typical Beatles banter with the audience. On the screen, I am watching the same bespectacled girl in a shift jumper, experiencing a musical orgasm, that I have been watching since I was 12. Wonder whatever happened to her? And in The Wolf Den, here in Uncasville, CT, people are dancing. S*I*G*H. This section of time ends with:
                ‘Can’t Buy Me Love’
                ‘Day Tripper’
                ‘I Saw Her Standing There’
                ‘Twist And Shout’  

I have been up twisting with most of the audience and literally twisted my pen into pieces somehow. I sit down, pull out another pen, and continue on taking notes.  

And now a transition / costume change. Ardy Sarraf as Paul, accompanied by Ron McNeil as John, performs ‘Yesterday’ ... except it begins as “I’m … dreaming … of a white … Christmas.” Clever. The lyrics DO fit into the melody of ‘Yesterday.’  Beautiful portrayal.  

And WHAT IS NEXT?? After a brief media presentation of Beatle songs sung by people on the streets of England, comes THE PEPPER SUITS! Colorful and sparkly, the audience starts to clap as soon as Gavin Pring, portraying George appears. I remember when Gavin joined The Fab Four Ultimate Tribute. A rather loud audible “WHOA!” came out of my daughter’s and my mouths simultaneously. In our case it meant, “He’s nailed it. That’s George.” Ardy and Ron have always been as close to John and Paul as imitation can allow, and adding Gavin (who coincidentally rises out of Liverpool) strengthened the show. Joe Bologna appears as Ringo tonight. He is so happy and joyful in his portrayal, as well as accurate in his drumming. The cast can change, but these four are the major players.
                ‘Sergeant Pepper/With A Little Help From My Friends’
                ‘Sergeant Pepper Reprise’
                ‘A Day In The Life’
                ‘Got To Get You Into My Life’  (Ron is offstage changing for next set)  

When Ron returns to perform ‘Imagine,’ he has a monologue that pays tribute to John Lennon. Ron, I can help explain the audience’s quiet reaction when you expected more applause for what you said about Lennon. We knew you were not Lennon, but at that moment, in that time frame, to us … you were. So for you to be talking about him when we were buying the fact that he was there in front of us … was confusing. We caught on and cheered you soundly as the other three returned and all are enmeshed in the ‘Let It Be’ era.  Gavin performs ‘Something’ and OH MY … it IS SOMETHING. Such a beautiful song, I am thankful it is performed so well. And to end?? You say you want a ‘Revolution’? Holy Cow! All these songs performed live! 

You know we can’t let them go yet. A song to help us collect ourselves and warm our hearts, ‘Hey Jude.’ 

I put my glow stick back in my bag and leave for dinner, echoing my friends’ voices, “THAT was fun!” Thank you for coming with me. 

Next stop is Art Garfunkel in Tarrytown, NY.
-- Shelley

Great job, Shelley!  (Now I wanna see them again!!!)

You can catch our review of The Fab Four from earlier this year here: