Beatles musical puts Fab Four back on stage

LA HABRA - The La Habra Depot Theatre has announced the world premiere of "Ticket to Ride," a musical biography of the Beatles, starring internationally-renowned Beatles tribute band, Hard Day's Night, who perform the music of the Fab Four live on stage.The show runs from April 17 through May 3. More than a basic Beatles tribute concert, "Ticket to Ride" takes the audience back to the pivotal moments and locales of the Beatles' career. The band's custom-tailored costumes, vintage instruments, Liverpudlian dialect and precise attention to every detail recreate the magic, music, wit and wisdom of the total Beatle phenomenon. The four band members capture the unique personality, physicality and charm of the Beatle they portray, including the Fab Four's familiar head bobs, toe taps and patter between songs. Beginning at the legendary Cavern Club in Liverpool where they meet their manager, Brian Epstein, the audience continues their journey to venues that include the Ed Sullivan Show, Shea Stadium's 50,000-plus screaming fans, the Abbey Road recording studios, and their final live performance on the rooftop of their Apple Corp office building. The character of Brian Epstein, played by Greg Wilmot, will serve as narrator throughout the show. With a script written by Beatlemania original cast member P.M. Howard, the play's dialogue rings true. Howard played the role of George in the 1977 Broadway production. The show is directed by Danielle Palmer. "I've lived with these characters for most of my life and this is a story I've wanted to write for over 30 years," Howard said. "As a director, this is a very exciting opportunity to direct the world premiere of a show," said Palmer. "There have been so many different Beatle band concert shows over the years, but in 'Ticket to Ride' we get a chance to see the Beatles, up close and personal, at crucial moments in their career and hopefully gain a deeper insight into who they really were." Since 1997, Hard Day's Night has been thrilling audiences with tight harmonies and flawless note for note instrumental renditions of Beatle hits. With more than 1,000 performances, Hard Day's Night has honed their show to become one of the most musically and visually satisfying Beatle tribute acts in the world. Along with a talented cast of actors, the band will take the audience back to January 1964, when Americans saw the Beatles for the first time on the Ed Sullivan Show, playing "I Wanna Hold Your Hand." Progressing through their various musical stages, the audience re-experiences the psychedelic era of "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Harts Club Band," the creation of the haunting "Yesterday," and the raucous rock and roll of "Get Back." The show is a fundraiser to support the La Habra Depot Theatre's summer youth program, with the Hard Day's Night band playing the three-week run for a nominal fee. The Depot is one of the few community theaters in Southern California that does not charge children to participate in youth shows. "The Depot gives kids from economically disadvantaged families a chance to perform in children's theater," said Whittier native Gilbert Bonilla, who plays John Lennon in the band. "We are glad we can help out the program." "Ticket to Ride" opens April 17 and runs through May 3. Performances are Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m., with Sunday matinees at 5 p.m. Tickets are $20 and beer and wine are sold. Audience members may also participate in Beatle karaoke after the show. For tickets, call (562) 905-9625 or visit www.lhdepottheatre.org. The La Habra Depot Theatre is at 311 S. Euclid St. in La Habra.

********** Published: April 10, 2009 - Volume 7 - Issue 51