Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Another Guest Concert Review

“The more you drink, the more we look like The Beatles.”
Those words uttered by Ardy Sarraf, as Paul, may be true, but I was not drinking (alcohol anyway) and I swear they DO resemble The Beatles more and more as the show goes on. Maybe it is us sinking into the spirit of the event, or maybe they actually channel their roles from the originals.
There is a new role player tonight: Jon Fickes portrays John Lennon. The other players are Ardy Sarraf as Paul, Gavin Pring as George, Luis Renteria as Ringo and Jeff DeHart as Ed Sullivan. Let me go backward to this afternoon now and tell you about an experience I never had before … 
A Fab Four sound check!
This soundcheck is far different from any others. There are times that I see the complete band, including the lead singer, at the checks. There are times that I see only the band at the sound check. BUT this is the first time that I see the whole band and not know who they are! 

Easy to explain:  they are not in “costume.”  So while they set up the instruments, I am looking at each one, plus the roadie crew, trying to establish the roles for tonight. It is a game where I set myself a goal to label the parts BEFORE they pick up their final instruments and rehearse. This is not easy. A longish hair man setting up the drums. Ringo? Wait! He is tuning a guitar! I think it may be John’s. Is that the back of Ardy Sarraf I see? That man is tall. Is it Gavin? He has very short hair. So does the man whose back I’m staring at. Wait! Is there an Ed Sullivan talking to them?
OK! I am ready to vote. Tall Man turns toward me and I see the eyes of  … George Harrison. Gavin Pring is in the house. And YES! That IS Ardy Sarraf. I don’t remember Jeff DeHart’s name at the time, but I give him the Ed Sullivan title. Longish hair is Ringo, but WHO in real life? And I have NO CLUE who is playing John. He wears a Hawaiian shirt with short light color hair. I did OK, given the fact that I have never seen Jon Fickes or Luis Renteria perform before.

The Beatle quiz video begins, the vintage videos play, and I count 11 guitars perched onstage. How do you travel with all this equipment? My friend has put us in the front row, which will give me a challenge to blend in and yet take notes. I am so close, I notice Ardy Sarraf wearing an ID bracelet just like Paul McCartney’s. I never saw that before. Hey, that is such a Kool detail. These performers are serious, even though they refer to each other as “the drummer,” “the guitar player,” “the little old man,” etc., and NOT by their role names. This is very respectful to me and to The Beatles. They want to represent them as correctly as possible and yet not absorb their identities. 

Here we go:  

She Loves You
All My Lovin’
I Want To Hold Your Hand
A Hard Day’s Night
I Should Have Know Better (complete with John’s “harmonica contraption”)
8 Days A Week
Roll Over Beethoven (“My one allowed song. If you like it, it’s by Lennon. If you don’t, it’s by McCatney”)
I Saw Her Standing There
Twist and Shout (The only way to blend in on this song is to get up and TWIST)
And now comes the first costume change, so more vintage video before Ardy comes to the mic to sing Paul’s most famous … White Christmas. I love how he segues into Yesterday. As I watch, I see that the eyes appearing above the microphone are most definitely those of one Paul McCartney. How is this possible?! I swear there is only coffee in my cup.
Ed Sullivan emerges to allow the finishing touches on the costume changes. Jeff DeHart has been in movies and besides Sullivan does a great Nixon, Rodney Dangerfield and Jack Nicholson. As he exits, he introduces the video from the English Countryside where we have the diversity of England singing Beatles songs. I love this video. Whoever first filmed it was genius. And now, direct from Pepperland comes
The front cover of the bass drum has been changed from “The Fab Four” to “It was 20 Years Ago Today”. I missed that switching detail.
We’re Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band
With A Little Help From My Friends
Sgt Pepper Reprise
I have heard ooohs and ahhhhhs from the audience as memories are remembered or songs recognized. And now, tonight’s greatest accomplishment: A Day In The Life. They nailed it! The instrumentals, the eerie echoed vocals, the talent! While I listened, these words came to me and I quote them here ...  

We’ve listened to the songs for so long that we are inside of them. We ourselves emerge when The Fab 4 release the notes.
Got To Get You Into My Life
I catch Gavin snatching the bass drum cover on his way offstage and again it says “The Fab Four.”  Jon Fickes remains onstage at the keyboards, giving the tribute to John Lennon and performing Imagine. The return of the cast in Abbey Road outfits signals the final songs.
Something (for me, tied with While My Guitar Gently Weeps for Harrison besty)
Get Back
Hey Jude - Encore
My friend has not been to see The Fab Four in over five years. It was at her insistence that she “could stand in line as long as I could” that brought us back to The Wolf Den and placed us second in line to see this show. The Den will continue to draw me in, as they have such great performers. I can’t resist.
Each of us buys the cd ‘Hark’ and going home in opposite directions, find ourselves listening to it on our way home. I cannot honestly buy a cd of a group who is mimicking The Beatles’ song recordings, but this cd is 22 Christmas songs that each have the intro from a recognizable Beatle composition and then smooths its way into a popular holiday song. It is so very creative, just as we would expect from The Beatles, that it instantly became a favorite for me this season. 
I know who my favorite cast performers are, but I will not sway you on finding yours. To renew happy positive memories and experience something unique, go see The Fab Four. Looking at their schedules, they ARE coming to a theatre near you.
Shelley J Sweet-Tufano

Thanks, Shelley!

As you know, we are MAJOR fans!  They even hosted a nice little post-concert get-together for some of our Forgotten Hits Readers who were able to attend their show at The Arcada Theatre this past November.

Upcoming concert appearances include:

January 11, 2020 at 4:00 pm -
Pechanga Resort & Casino - Temecula, CA
January 11, 2020 at 8:00 pm -
Pechanga Resort & Casino - Temecula, CA
January 16, 2020 at 7:30 pm -
Peoria Civic Center - Peoria, IL
January 17, 2020 at 7:30 pm -
Mayo Civic Center - Rochester, MN
January 18, 2020 at 8:00 pm -
State Theatre - Minneapolis, MN
January 19, 2020 at 2:00 pm -
Colosseum at Caesars Windsor - Windsor, Ontario (Canda)
January 19, 2020 at 8:00 pm -
Colosseum at Caesars Windsor - Windsor, Ontario (Canda)
January 23, 2020 at 7:30 pm -
The Plaza Theatre - El Paso, TX
January 24, 2020 at 8:00 pm -
Mesa Arts Center - Mesa, AZ
January 25, 2020 at 8:00 pm -
Fox Theatre - Tucson, AZ
January 31, 2020 at 8:00 pm -
Revention Music Center - Houston, TX
January 31, 2020 at 8:00 pm -
Bluesville At Horseshoe Tunica Casino - Robinsonville, MS
February 01, 2020 at 8:00 pm -
Majestic Theater - Dallas, TX
February 06, 2020 at 8:00 pm -
Carolina Theatre of Durham - Durham, NC
February 07, 2020 at 8:00 pm -
Atlanta Symphony Hall - Atlanta, GA
February 08, 2020 at 8:00 pm -
Charleston Music Hall - Charleston, SC
February 09, 2020 at 8:00 pm -
Savannah Civic Center - Savannah, GA
February 12, 2020 at 8:00 pm -
Ridgefield Playhouse - Ridgefield, CT
February 13, 2020 at 7:30 pm -
Flying Monkey Performance Center - Plymouth, NH
February 14, 2020 at 8:00 pm -
Plymouth Hall - Plymouth, MA
February 15, 2020 at 7:00 pm -
Paramount Theatre - Rutland, VT
February 20, 2020 at 8:00 pm -
People's Bank Theatre - Marietta, OH
February 21, 2020 at 8:00 pm -
Taft Theatre - Cincinnati, OH
February 22, 2020 at 7:30 pm -
The Carson Center - Paducah, KY
February 27, 2020 at 7:00 pm -
Circle Square Cultural Center - Ocala, FL
February 28, 2020 at 8:00 pm -
Hard Rock Hotel & Casino - Biloxi, MS
March 06, 2020 at 8:00 pm -
Crest Theatre - Sacramento, CA
March 07, 2020 at 8:00 pm -
Palace of Fine Arts - San Francisco, CA
March 13, 2020 at 8:00 pm -
Bing Crosby Theatre - Spokane, WA
March 14, 2020 at 8:00 pm -
Moore Theatre - Seattle, WA
March 20, 2020 at 8:00 pm -
The Grove of Anaheim - Anaheim, CA
April 08, 2020 at 8:00 pm -
Helena Civic Center - Helena, MT
April 09, 2020 at 8:00 pm -
Dennison Theatre - Missoula, MT
April 10, 2020 at 7:30 pm -
Pike's Peak Center - Colorado Springs, CO
April 11, 2020 at 8:00 pm -
The Paramount Theatre - Denver, CO
April 21, 2020 at 7:30 pm -
The Grand - Wausau, WI
April 23, 2020 at 8:00 pm -
Crystal Grand Music Theatre - Wisconsin Dells, WI
April 24, 2020 at 8:00 pm -
Coronado Performing Arts Center - Rockford, IL
April 25, 2020 at 8:00 pm -
Arvest Bank Theatre at the Midland - Kansas City, MO
April 30, 2020 at 9:00 pm -
The Canyon Club Theatre - Agoura Hills, CA
May 01, 2020 at 9:00 pm -
The Canyon - Montclair, CA
May 02, 2020 at 9:00 pm -
The Rose - Pasadena, CA
May 03, 2020 at 9:00 pm -
The Canyon Theatre - Santa Clarita, CA
June 05, 2020 at 9:00 pm -
River Cree Resort and Casino - Enoch, AB (Canada)
June 19, 2020 at 8:00 pm -
Byham Theater - Pittsburgh, PA
June 20, 2020 at 8:00 pm -
Mayo Performing Arts Center - Morristown, NJ
June 25, 2020 at 7:30 pm -
Santander Performing Arts Center - Reading, PA
June 26, 2020 at 8:00 pm -
Warner Theatre - Washington, D.C.
June 27, 2020 at 8:00 pm -
Harrison Opera House - Norfolk, VA

Be sure to check their website as new dates are being added all the time.  (As you can see, they're everywhere, they're everywhere ... so make it a point to check these guys out ... you'll love the show!)

Our interview with The Fab Four from last year:

Previous FH Concert Reviews: