Relive Beatlemania with ‘Rain’ - Ahwatukee Foothills News: Valley And State

Relive Beatlemania with ‘Rain’

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Posted: Wednesday, May 9, 2012 9:00 am | Updated: 4:46 pm, Thu Jun 21, 2012.

Jimmy Irizarry studied the legendary Fab Four’s music and their history so he could inhabit his role as John Lennon in “Rain — A Tribute to the Beatles.”

“We try to perform, look and sound like them and that’s a huge feat for us,” he said. “But we’re doing our best to recreate and recapture the magic,” Irizarry said.

Irizarry said he’s excited to take on the role of Lennon and pretend to be a member of one of his favorite bands in the tribute musical.

“It’s such an honor for me to do this because I listened to my older siblings’ records of the Beatles and fell in love instantly,” Irizarry said.

“Rain” is a tribute show that began as an offshoot of the Broadway production of “Beatlemania.” In 2010, the musical ran for nine months and transitioned into a successful national tour that continues its run.

The show follows the Beatles through the different phases of their careers. In addition, “Rain” uses multimedia to tell the story as well.

“This is a roller coaster of a ride for entertainment because you’re going to learn so much about this band and the major influence they’ve had around the world,” Irizarry said. “And their influence is still going strong to this day.”

In order to prepare to become Lennon, Irizarry watched a number of YouTube clips and films about the Beatles.

“They started the British invasion, which led to the Rolling Stones and other groups,” Irizarry said.

When Irizarry and the other cast members of “Rain” take the stage each night, he can’t help but watch the reaction of the audience.

It ranges, he said, from people dancing in the aisles to others being nostalgic and having tears in their eyes from seeing the Beatles on stage.

“It’s a rewarding experience to see all of this every night,” Irizarry said. “We feed off the audience and their responses almost every single night.”

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