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Interview: Let It Be

Thursday 26 March 2015

Interview: Let It Be

From tonight until Sunday April 5th, Auckland's Civic Theatre will be transformed into a hub for all things Beatlemania, with the production of Let It Be promising to take us all on a magical mystery tour of the Beatles' career. From their humble beginnings in Liverpool, to the height of their fame, Let It Be showcases 40 of the band's best hits, and some of the deeper cuts too. Following a successful run on Broadway and London's West End, Let It Be has been seen by over a million people worldwide. We spoke to producer Jeff Parry about the show.

What are some of your earliest memories involving the Beatles?
Being given the first Beatles record with “Twist and Shout” and “She Loves You” by my Dad’s secretary. I had never heard of them prior?

How did the idea for Let It Be come about?
Long story. I did not believe a credible Beatles show could be produced as I had seen many Beatles impersonators and none of them hit the mark. I was asked to put together a Beatles band to help commemorate a “John Lennon” wall which a local radio station in Calgary, AB Canada was putting up. I found the band Rain who did have the chops. We tried a couple of local shows and they sold out. To make a long story short in 6 years we were on Broadway, by 2012 we were in the West End of London with a newer show called “Let it Be”.

Are you concerned about making sure you stay true to the spirit of the Beatles, given how important the band is to so many people?
We stay absolutely true to the spirit. We look at “Let it Be” as a responsibility to do such which adds a lot of internal pressure.

Is there a particular song or moment in the show that you always love?
When people are standing up singing and hugging, happens a few times each night.

What was it like taking the production to the Beatles' hometown of Liverpool? How was it received there?
I thought I was booking a one way ticket on the Titanic, but the opposite proved to be the case. The entire Beatle community came out including John’s sister, the gal who taught Ringo in grade school, the Beatles museum etc. They all said how thankful they were for creating such a show.

What is the next stage production you will be working on?
We are working on something with the music of Foreigner called “Juke Box Hero”, a history of Canadian Music called “Oh Canada What a Feeling” and hopefully something with Alice Cooper.

Jeff Parry is the producer of LET IT BE, the next musical to grace the Auckland Civic Theatre stage March 26 to April 4 which celebrates the phenomenal music of the Beatles.