Rain. A Tribute to the Beatles  

The way Joe Bithorn looks at it, a musical tribute to the Beatles isn''t so much different than a symphony orchestra devoting a night to the works of Mozart.

It''s music that crosses genres - surfacing in symphonies as well - and, as Joey "Paul McCartney" Curatolo puts it, provides the soundtrack of his generation''s life.

There''s one big difference, though, when Bithorn, Curatolo and their bandmates bring the Fab Four together again Thursday, Feb. 12, at The Dow Event Center in Broadway in Saginaw''s "Rain: A Tribute to the Beatles."

"It''s a great celebration of the Beatles'' music, from the Ed Sullivan show through Sgt. Pepper and Abbey Road," Bithorn said. "And while we''re performing live, there are videos and news clips adding to the experience.

"I''m very proud of what we''re doing here. It''s a lovely thing to be able to do."

With nearly 30 years of portraying George Harrison, first in "Beatlemania" and since 1983 in "Rain," Bithorn knows the territory. But he brings much more to the stage, growing up in New York where Isaac Stern tousled his hair and Beverly Sills blew him kisses.

And Thelonious Monk, the prolific jazz composer, lived on the block, though kids there knew him as the crazy guy who scared them witless.

"That was magic; I have so many good memories those days," he said. "It was unbelievable."

Then Bithorn started getting into the music of the Allman Brothers and Cream, creating with his brother Chuck the Bithorn Brothers Band to play their favorites.

And between catching some vintage shows, he started picking up on jazz and the blues as well. Talk long enough and you realize his interests run the gamut, including the Beatles, but in no way confined to what he calls "the music that empowered a generation.

"Like Duke Ellington said, there are only two kinds of music, good and bad," Bithorn added. "But the Beatles'' songs are so clever, and you can hear so many influences. It''s pop classical, very intelligently written."

In "Rain," Bithorn said, the progression through five sets is very chronological, "but it''s interesting how it flows. The music takes you on a little trip."

And in the later stages, "you get our perception of what might have been because they didn''t tour by then," Bithorn said. "It''s a great take on what our feelings would have been.

"What''s important is that we''re bringing something that people will identify, something that will connect with their own memories."

And what has he learned about Harrison in the past three decades?

"I think maybe the idea of him being the quiet Beatle was just press, creating a pigeonhole so there was something in the Beatles image for everyone," Bithorn said. "But people who hung out with him say he was a great guy, and a lot of fun. The ''quiet'' image doesn''t fit at all."

by Sue White | The Saginaw News

RAIN is every Beatles fan Broadway dream. Rich with auditory as well as visual excitement, the all-star cast of RAIN incorporates both the timeless music of the Beatles, as well as accompanying videos. The cast is so talented they not only do our favorite variety of complex Beatles songs, but they also perform songs that the Beatles themselves found too intricate and challenging to perform for a live audience.

The RAIN cast takes us on a semi-biographical journey of the Beatles rise to fame and world stardom until their break-up in 1970. The Beatles have sold over one billion albums worldwide, with over 40 different singles and albums that reached number one in the UK alone. This is the most amounts of number one albums than any other group to come out of their home country. The Beatles have also sold more albums in the U.S. than any other band here.

RAIN manages to capture the musical agility and to near-perfection. If you never got your chance to see the original Beatles live, RAIN comes in as a close second to the real deal. Named after the Beatles song Rain, which was first released in 1966 as a single, Rain describes the Beatles first arrival in Australia ; rain and poor weather. The song "Rain" was about the people who complained about the weather.

Come watch this wonderful tribute to one of the world''s greatest contributions to music. Playing at the Pantages, the sound quality showcases this phenomenal cast. No matter who you go with, or what seats you ultimately decide upon, you are guaranteed to have a great

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