Meet the Beatles
RAIN: A Fab Four tribute comes to Cultural Center
There are very few people who can say they witnessed The Beatles perform their hits live and in the flesh. The Fab Four skyrocketed to stardom so rapidly in the U.S., they were quickly burdened by the weight of the world and no longer felt the desire to perform music live.
Luckily for those not privileged enough to see the real thing, RAIN, the internationally-acclaimed Beatles concert, returns to the Scranton Cultural Center this weekend. As the next best thing to seeing the real thing, RAIN will be performing song selections spanning The Beatles’ entire discography live on stage. They will also visit late-era selections which were recorded in the studio, but never performed live. With six elaborate costume changes and note-for-note performances, the show will showcase over two hours’ worth of classic music. From the early hit singles like “I Want to Hold Your Hand” and “A Hard Day’s Night,” to later classics like “Let it Be” and “Come Together,” this tribute act will transport you back in time.
“It’s a time capsule of the ’60s through the Beatles music,” RAIN cast member Mac Ruffing said. “It’s more of a concert experience than a Broadway show. There are videos playing that highlight various events of the ’60s, as well as different stage sets and lights, not just a band playing on stage. When the show starts, there is a video presentation on screen of the ’60s before The Beatles came to the U.S. which transitions into their debut on The Ed Sullivan Show. It later progresses throughout the sixties all the way to Let It Be (The Beatles final recording). The show is for all ages. It’s not just for adults and baby boomers. We see a lot of children at the show and they know all the words and are singing along. It’s crazy!”
Ruffing plays the role of Paul McCartney in RAIN. Naturally a right-handed musician, Ruffing learned how to play the iconic violin shaped Hofner bass guitar just like Sir McCartney, left-handed. “I was in Japan a long time ago and there was a left handed Hofner hanging on the wall at a guitar store and I just had to have it. I figured I was going to learn how to play the bass left handed and that it was my calling. It took me about six months before I could perform a show left handed.” Ruffing still plays the six-string guitar right-handed during the RAIN shows though. “It’s too complicated and there are too many fingers doing things at the same time.”
— tom graham
Rain: A Tribute to The Beatles will perform at The Scranton Cultural Center Friday, Feb. 24 at 8 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 25 at 2 and 6 p.m. and Sunday, Feb. 26 at 1 and 6 p.m. For ticket information, visit www.scrantonculturalcenter.org or to purchase tickets by phone through Ticketmaster 1-800-745-3000.