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She Loves You Yeah Yeah Yeah | 11.09.08

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shelovesyou.jpgOne of the best parts of the show is the black-and-white scenes projected on screens during costume changes.


Westport Playhouse, St. Louis

I liked it, yeah, yeah, yeah. "She Loves You Yeah Yeah Yeah," playing at the Westport Playhouse, appears to be a bunch of pudgy, aging Beatles-look alikes. The most Beatle-ish, who plays Paul, has a striking resemblance to McCartney but, well, he has been playing "the cute Beatle" since 1978. Unfortunately, he has a hard time hitting the high notes, but you gotta admire him for trying.

The aging impersonators are missing the one thing that makes the Beatles the Beatles: their youth. All four of the real Mop Tops were in their 20s when they did their finest work; by oldest-Beatle John Lennon's 30th birthday (October 9, 1970 -- the day I was born), the Fab Four were already history.

Though containing 247 seats, the theater is intimate. Many of the attendees were Baby Boomers, but several brought their kids, who also seemed to enjoy the show.

The 100-minute show includes most of the most popular Beatles tunes, including "All You Need is Love," "Yesterday" and a medley of "Let It Be" and "Hey Jude." The performance runs chronologically. Also included are some less-well-known Beatles gems such as "Honey, Don't" and "Roll Over, Beethoven."

To its credit, the revue avoids some of the individual Beatles' solo material to focus on the joint music that made them such a special combo. Also, the outstanding song "A Day in the Life" appears, a number that is particularly hard for a foursome without lots of help (and yes, there are recorded tracks, but the live music is forefront.)

In addition to the classic music, one of the best parts of the show is the black-and-white scenes projected on screens during costume changes. They include interviews with Beatles fans, segments from their appearances on the Ed Sullivan Show, and even a bit from the Saturday morning Beatles cartoon show. The most entertaining segment, however, was the overwhelmingly sexist commercials played during the Sullivan appearances. Go see "Yeah" and your troubles just might seem so far away. | David Benkof

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