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The Beatles Forever Fab
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Centrestage in association with Algoa FM presents its tribute to the greatest rock n roll band of all time, the Beatles, for 2 performances at the Guild Theatre on Tuesday 17 and Wednesday 18 February, before the musical salute moves to Port Elizabeth’s MMM Loubser Auditorium in Port Elizabeth on 20 February.

Entitled ‘Forever Fab – The Beatles Centrestage!’, the show features Port Elizabeth’s very own popular fabulous foursome – Donovan Hattingh as John Lennon, Wayne Kallis as Paul McCartney, Mike McAuley as George Harrison and the inimitable Gino Fabbri as Ringo Starr, collectively known as the Centrestage All-Star Band.

The first half of the show features the raw energy of the early Beatles club performances, which are majestically replicated by the superb group of Centrestage entertainer/musicians in such a way that the frenetic live performance authenticity which drove the late 1950’s/early 1960’s fans into a frenzy, is recreated.

Songs such as Roll Over Beethoven, Mr Postman, Twist and Shout, I Want to Hold Your Hand, From Me to You, I Saw Her Standing There, Help, Love Me Do, Paperback Writer, 8 Days a Week and Cant Buy Me Love amongst others are faithfully reproduced and imbued with the trademark early-day naive Beatles personalities and wry humour.

As the Beatles matured, their music changed to incorporate ground-breaking new sounds and experimental, often drug inspired, influences of the time. So it is that the foursome are joined on stage in the second half of the show by keyboard player Khanya Matomela and the Centrestage brass section, consisting of Jeff Taylor, Marlon Louis and Greg Bell, to create an altogether different musical experience.

Trippy songs like Eleanor Rigby, All You Need is Love, Come Together, Get Back, Back in the USSR, Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Heart Club Band, Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds and Magical Mystery Tour will demonstrate the strong psychedelic feel in this segment.

Much loved sing-along Beatles classics such as Yellow Submarine, Obla Di Obla Da, Revolution and Hey Jude are guaranteed to get the audience participating at the top of their voices!

The show also takes in some classic songs written by individual Beatles members in their solo careers, including the likes of the Lennon-penned Stand By me and The Ballad of John and Yoko, McCartney’s Wing’s favourite Band on the Run, Harrison’s Here Comes the Sun and Starr’s Your’e Sixteen and When I’m Sixty Four.

The big Beatles ballads such as Let It Be and The Long and Yesterday are also included in the line-up which features no less than 42 Beatles classics.

“The simplicity of the Beatles music really allows the performers to show their individual strengths”, says show creator Gary Hemmings.

“We staged a Beatles show some 4 years ago in the early days of the Centrestage All-Star-Band. Since then, Wayne Kallis has blossomed as an incredible front-man, Gino Fabbri has grown his natural comedic rapport with the audience – and Mike McAuley has taken both his bass playing and stage presence to new heights. Donovan was not in the original production, but when you add the absolute guitar perfection that he brings into the mix, the Beatles sound and stage experience suddenly comes alive with an eerie authenticity!”

“We have come full circle with this show. The experience that the guys have gained, both as musicians and as entertainers through their involvement with the last 16 hit Centrestage productions, along with the intimate nature of this kind of bare-bones music, gives them the opportunity to really connect with the audiences.”

“We are also really excited to add the Centrestage brass section into the mix to add colour to the second half of the show”, said Hemmings.

The show, which plays against video backdrops, is once again supported by the same Centrestage backstage team which has been responsible for hit shows such as The Magnificent 7 and Magnificent 70’s series.

Musically directed by Donovan Hattingh and staged and costumed by Lynette Collett, with lighting design by Mike Broderick, Forever Fab – The Beatles Centrestage promises a roller-coaster evening of fun, face-paced entertainment in what has become known as ‘the Centrestage tradition’.

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