Theater Review: 'Let It Be' -- 1.5 stars
Let It Be
“Let It Be” is the latest in the never-ending parade of cheap, cheesy Beatles tribute concerts on Broadway that has previously included such titles as “Beatlemania” in the late 1970s and “Rain” just three seasons ago.
They all represent slight variations on the same formula, in which a handful of competent singer-musicians, while not technically playing the Fab Four as characters, stand in and dress up like them and earnestly pay homage to their vocal and musical abilities and accents.
The 2 1/2-hour production is divided into various segments representing their albums and other key moments. In total, the cast performs about 40 songs, including all the big ones you’d expect to hear at a Beatles tribute concert. The early pop songs come off far better than the later ones that require an orchestral presence.
Last week, it was revealed that the producers of “Rain” are suing “Let It Be” for copyright infringement. Personally, I can hardly tell the difference between them.
In addition to trippy computer graphics, video clips show fans going wild at the original concerts. In contrast, the performers of “Let It Be” actively need to encourage their dazed audience to clap along or stand up to get their juices flowing.
Seeing as those attending “Let It Be” probably already appreciate all the best-known Beatles songs, they are likely to have a somewhat pleasant experience despite the generally unexciting and derivative nature of the enterprise.
In just a few months, a lot of very exciting things will be happening on Broadway. “Let It Be” is just an unambitious, summertime space filler.
Just let it be. Soon enough it’ll go away — and another Beatles tribute show is sure to come along eventually.
“Let It Be” plays at the St. James Theatre through Dec. 29. 246 W. 44th St., 212-239-6200, letitbebroadway.com.