Overdosing on the Beatles?

August 18, 2008
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In putting together this year's IBJ A&E Season Preview (coming soon to your favorite business paper), I saw a mini-trend emerging.

It starts Aug. 28-29 with "Classical Mystery Tour," a visit from a quartet of Liverpoolian-look-and-sing-alikes at Conner Prairie.

That same weekend, Rib America's lineup includes a completely different foursome performing "Beatlemania Live!"

It continues in January when Dance Kaleidoscope brings back its "Magical Mystery Tour" program, set to the music of you know who.

Then March brings the tour of "Rain: The Beatles Experience" to Clowes Memorial Hall.

Plus it seems that "1964: The Tribute" plays Beef & Boards every year. There's no reason to think that it won't show up on this year's yet-to-be-announced schedule.

Is this all too much, even for Beatles fans? Are Beatles impersonators/interpreters the new Elvis impersonators/interpreters? And is there artistic cred in what they do?

Your thoughts?
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  • I think the apetite for all things Beatles is alive and well. The 1 album, which was nothing more than all their #1 singles (which you can still hear multiple times per day just by surfing the FM frequencies), sold truckloads of copies, and that curious remixed Love album did very well. Then there was Julie Taymor's film Across the Universe, which divided critics but seems to be gaining more and more of a fan following on video . . . featuring a bunch of Beatles tunes twisted into a story and sung by folks like Eddie Izzard and Bono. (Bono turned in an awfully disappointing rendition of I Am the Walrus, but that's neither here nor there.)

    I don't know how interested I'd be in impersonators - the DK show seems most intriguing to me personally - but I bet these shows will all sell very, very well.
  • I agree with Brian - while I'm not apt to see impersonators, I did see the Magical Mystery Tour by DK a few years ago, and it was fantastic. I can totally see why they're bringing it back. Hopefully, the January shows will draw crowds to a normally slow month.

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