Beatles Tribute Show ‘RAIN’ Brings Music and Magic to Philadelphia

The Beatles are commonly deemed one of the best bands to ever hit the stage. Their music and influence have and continue to prove ageless. 

RAIN, a tribute show to The Beatles, is returning to Philadelphia from May 9 through May 11 at the Miller Theater. Regarded by the Denver Post as, “The next best thing to seeing The Beatles,” the show encapsulates each era of The Beatles’ timeless classics.

The show has a strong focus on cherished tracks from the Magical Mystery Tour and Sgt. Pepper albums, along with other classic Beatles hits from throughout their famed tenure.

Most importantly, the show serves to ring in the world-renowned love for the group and remind fans as to why The Beatles are — as described by Paul Curatolo, reenactor of Paul McCartney — “the perfect band.”

Curatolo described the key piece as to what makes the show so special: The joint passion between the performers and the audience.

“The authenticity of the music is paramount when we play and perform and for people to really — even if it’s just for a moment throughout the show, even if it’s just for a split second, to feel like they’re experiencing what it may have been like to see the four lads is a big honor,”  Curatolo said. “We feel the same way about The Beatles — we all share it between the audience and the band.”

Paul Curatolo portraying Paul McCartney in the show, RAIN

Mark Lewis, founder, manager, and original keyboardist for RAIN watched The Beatles perform on television when he was 12 years old. Enamored by the performers and the music, he started the group years later.

“I remember being amazed at everything about the Beatles. Their look, the way they talked, and especially their sound.”

The origins of RAIN were quite unexpected, and Lewis never had the thought that it would turn out how it did.

RAIN, originally spelled ‘Reign,’ was formed to become an original recording act. We played Beatles music for fun, and never thought of it as a tribute act. In fact, at the time, in the mid-1970s, there was no such thing as a tribute band.”

Lewis described how the band shared a love for The Beatles’ music and found that they sounded very similar to the famous group. After meeting an agent and playing at different nightclubs, the band took off. 

“I figured this was a cool way to make some money for a few months. Here I am 35 years later. I kept RAIN going. Eventually met up with guys that are currently in RAIN, and who happened to be great musicians, and had a true love for The Beatles, and here we are touring the world, and starring on Broadway.”

RAIN is a lot more than just an ordinary concert. Aside from the beautiful music played, the show features many different costumes, elaborate sets, and visuals — all correlating to different aspects of The Beatles’ albums and eras.

Every historic feature is accounted for, down to the changing haircuts and facial hair of each member throughout their time in the band. The accuracy and quality of genuineness is truly astonishing. 

The cast of  RAIN is Twisting and Shouting

Steve Landes, who plays John Lennon, testified to the message that the show gives.

“If I were going to say one more thing about our show, I’d say that it’s a very positive, upbeat show, one that leaves people with a good feeling. I think a lot of that has to do with the positive ‘peace & love’ message of The Beatles’ music — ‘all you need is love’ and ‘take a sad song and make it better.’ And I think these are messages we need more than ever in this world. I thank The Beatles for giving us all these positive messages!”

A common theme found throughout The Beatles discography is Love, and Curatolo spoke to its practical applications within the scope of how the show is produced.

“It comes from a place of love. It came from a place of love from my father being a first- or second-generation Beatles fan and for me, a third-generation Beatles fan,” Curatolo said. “It just comes from a place of love for the guys, and not only love for the Beatles themselves but love for the guys in RAIN — all the original members and everyone in the company that I get to share the stage with and share the road with. So it just comes from a place of loving what we do and it’ll never die as long as there’s love.”

This “love” that Curatolo describes trickles down to every minute detail while playing Sir Paul McCartney. As a self-proclaimed “surrogate” of Paul, Curatolo has mastered McCartney’s vocal inflections and even taught himself how to play the bass with his non-dominant, left hand, to preserve every bit of authenticity while imitating his idol.

For Curatolo, part of this love stems from legacy. While Curatolo carries the legacy of the esteemed Beatle throughout the show, he carries another legacy of his own — one of longstanding family tradition and history. Joey Curatolo, Paul’s father, played the original Paul McCartney as a founder of RAIN, a big catalyst in Curatolo’s childhood exposure to The Beatles and the show. 

“My earliest Beatles memories are of RAIN,” Curatolo described. “I remember being three or four years old and the smell of fresh cut grass at a fairground while RAIN was playing “Love Me Do,” on stage. The Beatles have always been attached to my family and upbringing. Every facet of my upbringing — The Beatles were there.”

Growing up surrounded by music and live performances prompted Curatolo to indulge himself in the art at a young age. At 10 years old, Curatolo taught himself the drums. This skill rolled into learning the guitar and piano, and soon, Curatolo found himself as a member of the band Wayward at just 14 years old.

The cast of  RAIN in performance

“It made me feel like an individual, like ‘man my dad is a rock and roller,’” Curatolo shared. “So, it was definitely an inspiration.” The Alternative Press voted Wayward “Hometown Heroes,” as they would go on to tour the U.S. and release multiple albums. 

Curatolo described what an immense honor it was when it was time for him to take over the moniker of McCartney.

“It was incredible to think, ‘First of all I’m worthy of wearing the boots,’ and I couldn’t wait to get to work, Paul said. “Thinking, ‘Wow, what an opportunity this will be and how exciting this going to be to you know be playing The Beatles’ music.”

Steve Landes had a young start to his Beatles fandom and music career, as well. The Lennon impersonator taught himself the guitar at the age of 10 and three years later went on to front a Top-40 cover band in Philadelphia. By 17, Landes was a part of another Beatles group, Beatlemania before, “passing an audition,” with the then RAIN members and having his future set. 

Curatolo relayed the alluring nature of the show for Beatles fanatics and live music enjoyers alike. 

“It’s The Beatles! What a fun, immersive 21st century Beatle experience, this show is,” Curatolo said. “It truly tells not only the story of The Beatles’ career but the story of that era and that impactful decade all within 2 and a half hours.”

Landes gave insight into his favorite part of the show. “I think one of my favorite parts of this particular version of our show has been recreating the Let It Be/Get Back rooftop performance as a part of our 2nd Act. With that special being so popular lately, on Disney+ and Blu-ray now, it’s been fun to replicate a part of The Beatles’ career that’s been in front of people’s eyes so much lately.”

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