CONNECTICUT CRITICS CIRCLE
She Loves You!
More Concert than Theater
By Bob and Karen Isaacs
They're back! And you need to rush down to get tickets-if any are
available-for a terrific tribute to the Beatles. We're talking about a
wonderful presentation by four talented men at Bridgeport's Downtown
Cabaret Theater that has been dark, except for its outstanding children's
theater, for two years.
To rejuvenate the DCT, Producer Hugh Hallinan and artistic director Susan
Hallinan, have brought in She Loves You! a tribute to the Beatles that
encompasses the years 1964 to '69. To do this, they've strung together in
close to chronological order more than 30 songs beginning with "I Want to
Hold Your Hand" and continuing through "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club
Band" and "Hey, Jude."
The production, under the direction of Andrew Empson, uses newsreel,
television and photos ranging from the Beatles' appearance on "The Ed
Sullivan Show" in 1964 to dozens of concerts, clips from Beatles films and
appearances. The four men - Alan LeBoeuf (Paul McCartney), David Leon
(John Lennon), John Brosnan (George Harrison), Carmine Grippo (Ringo
Starr) - capture the Beatles sound and look almost perfectly. Grippo by the
way is a New Haven native now living in LA.
The staging is relatively simple: Paul, George and John in front with Ringo
and his drums in the back, but Empson additionally presents the quartet
with appropriate hair styles, facial hair, and costumes that reflect each
stage of the Beatles.
While this may be more tribute concert than theater-there is little dialogue
and no real story-the audience obviously loved every minute and
re-experiences the half decade. Many were seen lip-syncing the songs. Is
there an outstanding number?
Hard to say. Each person will discover his or her favorite although two of
our favorite songs - "When I'm Sixty Four" and "Rita, the Meter Maid" were
omitted. But practically everything else is there and given full expression.
If you lived through the Beatle era or are just familiar with it, you will enjoy
She Loves You!
She Loves You! is at the Bridgeport Downtown Cabaret Theater, 262
Golden Hill Street, Bridgeport, with performances through April 13. For
tickets call 203-576-1636 or online at www.DowntownCabaret.org.
Appeared in Shore Publications April 3.