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Review: HERE COMES THE SUN Is Far More Than All Right at Prima

A new Beatles revue peps up Lancaster’s step for Fall.

Review: HERE COMES THE SUN Is Far More Than All Right at Prima

Feeling down? Feeling small? No way - that's for Simon and Garfunkel. When you want to stay warm in a chilly October you want a beat you can dance to, some encouragement, and the feeling that everyone's in it with you. In short, you need John, Paul, George, and Ringo's brand of tonic.

Mitch Nugent, the brains and heart behind Prima, collected over an hour of Beatles hits, and a few less frequently played but well worthwhile, songs, arranging them thematically in a song cycle ranging from a good morning to the crises of the day, ending with ways to cope with the world ("A Little Help From My Friends" fell in this category), clearly) and returning again to face the world.

Music director Andy Roberts brought a top-notch musical ensemble to play background for some seasoned Prima veterans and some new talent we hope to see at Prima again. Joshua Keefer, who was one of the stars of Prima's MURDER BALLAD, joined with perennial favorite Reji Woods, along with Brooklyn Kohl and Laura Zoog. The women are particularly spectacular in a duet of "Come Together" and "Revolution," while Keefer brought the audience near tears with his rendition of "Yesterday," which is especially moving, featuring a truly inspired performance from the band as well. The band was equally wonderful backing "Eleanor Rigby," even without the background strings that were so notable in the original. Woods must be especially commended for his performance of Lennon and McCartney's "Blackbird," which in his delivery turns just a little gospel, just a little blues, and just a bit reminiscent of Billie Holiday. Yet it's still plainly Lennon and McCartney. Keefer intersperses his interpretation of "The Fool on the Hill" with the poetry of John O'Donoghue in a very nice touch and an excellent performance

The singers are accompanied not only by music but by visuals - projected backgrounds, animations (some illuminating, some classically psychedelic), and cartoons - an especially great one accompanying "I Am the Walrus." Multimedia designer Sara Dodson understood her role, and the music and the period

This is a production of Beatles songs that's both entertaining and thoughtful, curated to make it accessible on multiple levels to an audience that ranges from eighteen to eighty. Once again, it's the most interesting production happening in Lancaster and well worth the visit. Through October 29 at Prima Thestre Culliton Stage; find tickets at PrimaTheatre.org.


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