BWW Interviews: RAIN Tour Brings Beatles Tribute Show to PPAC
It would be hard to argue that any musical group in the last century has had a more lasting impact than the Beatles. They are one of the most instantly recognizable and well-known bands in music history and have many of the most instantly recognizable and beloved songs in contemporary music. Those songs are still as popular and poweful today as they were when audiences first cheered and swooned for the band in the 1960s. Since then, there have been many tributes to the Beatles, including the smash hit Rain - A Tribute To the Beatles. Now, this multi-media concert event which explores the lives and music of the fabulous foursome is rolling into Providence Performing Arts Center for one night only.
Leading up to the show's arrival in Providence, I had a chance to speak with one of the stars, Paul Curatolo, who plays Paul McCartney. At ten years old, Curatolo's musical journey began when he taught himself the drums. He quickly adapted to guitar & piano which drove him to write and record his own music. When he was 14, as a member of the pop band "Wayward", he went on to record five albums. Until recently the band has toured the U.S. and was voted home town heroes in A.P. magazine (Alternative Press). Curatolo's love for the Beatles has driven him to master the character of Paul McCartney down to every detail. From vocal inflections to turning the bass over to perform left-handed. Paul considers it an honor to pay tribute to his idol.
How did you first come into contact with the music of the Beatles? Not this show specifically, but the band and their music.
I was born with the Beatles music all around me.
What, if anything, did the music of the Beatles mean to you prior to working on this show?
The Beatles meant home, good music, and comfort.
How did you first become involved with this show? Did you have any experience with it before you started working on it?
My father and I had begun playing Beatles songs together at home. I had experience playing in bands but not portraying any characters.
How would you describe your preparation for playing Paul in the show? What was your preparation, if any, like?
The pre-show prep for becoming sir Paul is that of mind and body. I stretch to get nice and loose/relaxed, then plenty if vocal warm ups. I then transform using make up and costuming.
What has it been like, playing Paul? What is the biggest challenge to playing such a recognizable, iconic person? What is the most fun part?
Playing sir Paul is a dream come true! The most challenging part for me would be sounding like him (vocally) the most fun part is the feeling of beatlemania that we create and that I feel every night on stage.
What do you think the music of the Beatles meant to the previous generation, when the Beatles first appeared on the scene? What does their music mean to the new generation, young music fans today? How has that meaning changed?
I feel like the Beatles have a universal meaning for all of our generations. Hope, freedom, love, and happiness. Their music is classic and we'll be "cool" forever.
Why and/or how is the music of the Beatles still relevant today? What is it about their music that makes it so enduring?
Their music is timeless. Whether you just broke up with your first love, or are trying to express your feelings about the current politics. Their music was so diverse there's a song for everyone to relate to.
In what way is Rain a show that non-Beatles-fans should see? What will they get out of it?
They would enjoy a colorful display of live performance, special effects, and throwback footage. They'll be a Beatles fan when we're done with them!
What will the experience be like for people who are already big fans of the Beatles?
I hope that they really enjoy the hard work and attention.
Rain - A Tribue To the Beatles is at Providence Performing Arts Center on Wednesday, June 18th at 7:00pm. Tickets are available for purchase online at www.ppacri.org, by phone at (401) 421-2787 , or at the PPAC Box Office located at 220 Weybosset Street in downtown Providence. Summer Box Office Hours: M-Th, 10A - 3P; open two hours prior to curtain time on performance dates.