San Antonio music fans desperate to bask in the aura provided by legendary artists are in luck. This week the Majestic Theater is paying tribute to two of the pioneers of modern music: Johnny Cash and The Beatles. While it is impossible to see these bands live, (Cash passed away in 2003 and The Beatles disbanded in 1970) these two concerts are the closest fans can get in 2009, none short of time travel.
The tribute concert to The Beatles is called “Rain.” Rather than simply covering The Beatles’ hits, “Rain” attempts to epitomize the passion, appearance and unique style of The Beatles. Employing multi-media presentations, “Rain” engages the audience in a multi-faceted romanticization of Ringo Starr, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, John Lennon and the cultural revolution they sparked in the United States following their 1964 appearance on the Ed Sullivan show.
Every member of The Beatles is represented by an impersonator in “Rain” who not only assumes his musical role in the band, but also his physical persona as well. “Rain” understands that Beatles fans have a deep reverence for the band and their accomplishments, thus, “Rain” strives to achieve as perfect of an interpretation of The Beatles’ act as realistically possible.
“Rain” consists of five acts spanning The Beatles’ gargantuan history. The first set recreates The Beatles’ revolutionary performance on the Ed Sullivan show where America began its massive infatuation with the “Fab Four.” The members of Rain, in authentic replicas of the suits the band members wore on that fateful night.
Act two transports the audience to an interactive simulation of Shea Stadium, where the band performs in front of 56,000 fanatical followers. Act three features music from the “Sgt. Pepper” era in which the cast of “Rain” pays homage to essential pieces of the American musical cannon, such as “Strawberry Fields Forever” and “With A Little Help from My Friends.” Act four, entitled “Flower Power,” gives the audience insight to the band’s fascination with new age beliefs. This act includes an acoustic session and speculates as to how The Beatles’ song-writing sessions may have progressed. The final act is dedicated to the “Abbey Road” album, featuring classics like “Come Together.”
“Rain” has enjoyed a staggering critical response, being dubbed “An adoring valentine to The Beatles” by The Washington Post. The Atlantic City Press proclaimed it “hauntingly familiar… they jolt your sense of time.” Ticket pricing to see “Rain” at the Majestic in downtown San Antonio begins at $10.75 and can be purchased through Ticketmaster.
Country music fans are also in for a treat this week on Oct. 24, The “Man in Black” is coming to the Majestic Theater. Celebrated worldwide for its authentic replication of the all inclusive Johnny Cash experience, “Man in Black” is a program country music fans cannot afford to miss. Starring David Stone, an able musician in his own right, “Man in Black” portrays Cash’s stage presence in noble fashion.
“Man in Black” covers three different eras of Cash’s career. The performance begins with David Stone playing music from early in Cash’s repertoire. Audience members will enjoy note-for-note perfection rendition of hits like “I Walk the Line.”
The production also pays homage to June Carter, the famous country singer whom Cash took as his second wife and tour mate. Musician Debbi Coren joins Stone on stage as June, engaging in soul-shaking duets. “Man in Black” also covers the historic Folsom Prison concert. David Stone was the only Johnny Cash tributary sanctioned by the State of California to play the commemorative 40th anniversary concert at San Quentin State Prison in honor of Cash’s renowned performance at the prison in 1969, so the potency of his depiction is evident.
Johnny Cash fans would be hard pressed to find a better beneficiary to Cash’s legend.
David Stone and the rest of the cast of “Man in Black” take great pride in illuminating a glowing testimonial to Cash’s celebrated career.
Tickets for “Man in Black” are currently available at the Majestic Theater, ranging from $15-$37.