WANT TO GO?
"Experience The Beatles with Rain"
Presented by Broadway in Charleston
WHERE: Clay Center
WHEN: 7:30 p.m. Tuesday
TICKETS: $37 and $61
INFO: 304-561-3570 or www.theclaycenter.orgCHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Jimmy Irizarry said he doesn't really have to try very hard to look or sound like John Lennon.
"I pretty much naturally sound like John. When I was young, I'd try to sing the Paul songs. I was more of a Paul listener, but John was more of a natural fit," said the Chicago native, who performs Tuesday night as Lennon in Broadway in Charleston's "Experience the Beatles with Rain."
Irizarry said he's always been a Beatles fan.
"I grew up on the records," he said. "My brothers and sisters played them when I was a kid."
Beatles tribute bands have been around for decades. Rain began as Reign, a California club band that started playing Beatles music at shows in 1974, four years after The Beatles dissolved their musical partnership.
The group went through numerous lineup changes with members of the band being recruited for the TV film, "Birth of the Beatles," in the late 1970s. In the early 1980s, cast members from Broadway's "Beatlemania" replaced most of the group.
Like the band, the show has evolved from essentially a couple of guys doing Beatles covers to a tribute band with musicians costumed to look like the Fab Four to the very elaborate production it is now.
"It's a multi-media presentation," Irizarry said. "We start with the 1964 Ed Sullivan performance and go through the decade, through the psychedelic period, all the way through to 'Abbey Road' in 1970."
He added that in addition to the music, the show features a video montage and pictures.
"We've also got a tremendous light show going on."
Irizarry said Rain tries to "nail the sound of the records," but not The Beatles live.
"Most of the time when The Beatles played live, they couldn't hear themselves," he said. "Back in those days, they didn't have monitors to send the sound back to them on stage."