It will be a Philly homecoming for Steve Landes, who plays the role of John Lennon in RAIN – A TRIBUTE TO THE BEATLES.
When the long touring, road company of RAIN – A TRIBUTE TO THE BEATLES hits Philly’s Kimmel Cultural Campus from October 29 until October 31 at the Merriam Theater it isn’t only a live precursor to Disney+’s streaming, six hour-long series on The Beatles’ last gasps, Get Back from director Peter Jackson.
RAIN and its 2021 iteration directed toward The Beatles’ classic Abbey Road is a homecoming for its “John,” Steve Landes, the vocalist-guitarist who grew up in Lansdale, and has been RAIN’s “Lennon” since 1998; this after having been in Broadway’s Beatlemania touring show for 11 years.
“It’s always great to be back home, especially as most of my family still live in and around Philly,” says Landes, joining me in a brief conversation with RAIN’s “Paul,” Paul Curatolo, himself a veteran of The Beatles Tribute as his father, Joey Curatolo, was forever its “McCartney.”
Both Landes and Curatolo express one basic fact about being a Beatle in the RAIN tribute: you lose yourself in the role, as any actor would. “The goal is to become, like any great actor, where you see and hear only the role that he or she is playing,” says Curatolo of his “Paul.” “You don’t want to pay attention to Tom Cruise in those Mission: Impossible movies. You want him to be Ethan Hunt.”
With Abbey Road being one of the most complex of The Beatles’ albums, the power and the prowess of great, dynamic musicianship and rich vocal harmony is the extra added layer of responsibility when it comes to being Lennon and McCartney. “That’s part of losing yourself in these roles,” says Landes. “Being The Beatles – especially since they rarely toured and so few fans around now had the chance to see them – is the total experience, and something you can’t take lightly. As a musician, singer and actor, you have to give it everything you have.”
Images: Matt Christine, Rich Lovrich