The other night I attended the official opening night for Backbeat, at downtown’s Ahmanson Theatre, hosted by the lovely folks from Center Theatre Group. It’s a musical (originally staged over in London) about the early beginnings of The Beatles (particulary their time in Hamburg, Germany), and the little known fifth member Stuart Sutcliffe, who was the band’s original bassist and sadly died at age 22 from a brain hemorrhage. There was also a 1994 film called Backbeat which starred Stephen Dorff as Stuart, and Sheryl Lee (of Twin Peaks fame) as his girlfriend Astrid Kirchherr (who is still alive at age 74). Now, I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not a huge fan of The Beatles, but I was actually floored by this show, it was excellent. It was fascinating watching all the backstage drama unfold as one of the world’s most famous bands was still in its infancy. From the music to the stellar performances, I ended up enjoying it a lot more than I thought I would. Plus by the end of the show, the audience was on their feet rocking out to some classic tracks from The Beatles, it was almost a mini-concert! The show is playing now through March 1st, definitely don’t miss this one, especially you’re a fan of The Beatles!
The Fab 4 were once 5. Meet John, Paul, George, Pete and Stu in a stage production that will rock the house and break your heart! Before Sgt. Pepper. Before Abbey Road. Even before Ringo, there were five Beatles. Five rowdy working class lads from the docks of Liverpool rocking out eight days a week in the raucous clubs and red-light seediness of Hamburg, Germany, creating an epic new sound.
PHOTOS | CRAIG SCHWARTZ FOR CENTER THEATRE GROUP