With their tight harmonies, flawless note for note renditions of Beatles hits, custom–tailored costumes, vintage instruments, Liverpudlian dialect and precise attention to every detail, Abbey Road has honed their show to become one of the most musically and visually satisfying Beatle tribute acts in the world today. Abbey Road recreates the magic, music, wit and charm of the Beatles, including the Fab Four’s cheeky personalities, familiar onstage banter and patter between songs.
Three costume changes cover the full range of the Beatle experience and beyond, with authentic early black Beatle suits, Sgt. Pepper’s regalia and Abbey Road attire. Hear the piccolo trumpet solo on Penny Lane and the full orchestration of A Day in the Life. Relive the emotional intensity of Paul’s moving Yesterday solo, as well as the high energy of stadium songs like Twist and Shout plus many other Beatle hits.
The Los Angeles Times said "the show delivers," and the Orange County Register hailed "if you see only see one tribute show, see this one...smart and loads of fun." The Long Beach Press Telegram called Abbey Road a "highly faithful tribute" and the Idaho Statesman said "if you like the Beatles, this is the ticket for you."The band headlines Knott's Berry Farm this summer and headlined the 2010 Beatles Festival in Santa Monica last summer.
The Abbey Road band members portray the Beatles in an award-winning, nationally touring musical biography of the "Fab Four" called In My Life - A Musical Theatre Tribute to the Beatles. The musical gives the audience a glimpse inside the world of the Beatles from the band’s point of view, as well as hear some of the greatest songs ever written. The producers wrote the script to give the audience a chance to “be there” at pivotal moments in the extraordinary career of the Beatles: Liverpool’s legendary Cavern Club, The Ed Sullivan Show, Shea Stadium, and the final live performance on the rooftop of the Apple Corp offices.
In My Life is more than just a Beatles tribute concert. The play begins at the Cavern Club with the first meeting of Brian Epstein and the soon to be “Fab Four.” Eventually, Epstein convinces the boys that matching suits and synchronized bows at the end of a performance will be better for their image than jeans and black leather jackets. This encounter results in February 1964, when America watched the Beatles for the first time on The Ed Sullivan Show, playing “I Want to Hold Your Hand.” Progressing through their various musical stages, the audience re-experiences the psychedelic era of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, the creation of the haunting “Yesterday”
The four musician/actors cast to play John, Paul, George and Ringo were selected from over 120 Beatle tribute musicians, most of who showed up for auditions in costume and in character. The band features Benny Chadwick as “Paul”, Tyson Kelly as “John”, Axel Clarke as “Ringo” and Robert Bielma as “George”.
Before joining the Abbey Road band, Kelly played the understudy role of Lennon in Just Imagine – A Tribute to John Lennon in Los Angeles. He writes songs and performs with a successful rock/pop/folk band called “King Washington” Tyson hails from a musical family. His father, Tom, toured with Dan Fogelberg and Toto as a backing vocalist and rhythm guitar player before co-writing a string of seven number one hits for female pop vocalists, including “Like a Virgin” (recorded by Madonna), “I’ll Stand By You” (The Pretenders) and “True Colors” (recorded by Cyndi Lauper).
“It's an honor to portray John Lennon,” said Kelly who is a graduate of New York Film Academy and lives in Woodland Hills. “I’m enjoying harmonizing the greatest songs ever written,” he added.
“John Lennon was my idol growing up with his cleaver wit and silly, yet brilliant, comedic behavior,” said Kelly, age 23. “My appreciation for him grew as I learned about his philosophy of life -just take away all of the things that bring hate, fear and violence and you get peace and love,” he continued.
Clarke, who resides in Lakewood, teaches college and high school percussion students by day, but at night he slips on a wig and a Liverpudlian accent and plays “Ringo.” Clarke holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in percussion performance from Cal State Long Beach, where he is currently a member of the studio faculty.
“The chance to portray “Ringo” presents a unique challenge in trying to accurately play the parts of a drummer with such a unique style all his own,” said Clarke who been performing professionally in the Los Angeles area for the last 10 years. “It forces you to swallow your own style and get into the character more,” he continued.
Chadwick first heard the Beatles’ “Twist and Shout” in the movie “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” and was instantly hooked on all things Beatles. He learned to play the bass guitar left-handed six months ago. "I wanted to play the bass exactly the way McCartney does," said the musician.
“I was surprised to find that my voice was somewhat in the range of Paul's so I really enjoy doing the singing,” said Chadwick. “I'm lucky because Paul is such an animated character in real life and his mannerisms are very prominent and easy to translate into my character, and I rely on that a lot to convey Paul,” continued Chadwick.
“Paul is one of the best pop writers to live and I've always admired his ability to play with melodies,” said Chadwick. “I'm into good solid crafted songs that are focused and he does that well,” he continued.
Chadwick, who lives in Glendale, is the founding member of an original band, New Maximum Donkey. His single, “Cherry,” was number one on a Midwestern Country station last year. He appeared on television’s That ‘70s Show.
Bielma became an avid Beatle fan at the age of four after seeing Beatlemania at the Pantages. In an odd twist of irony, the musician playing “George” was the playwright and director for the show, P.M. Howard. He began playing Beatle songs on the accordion at age nine and switch to the guitar when he received a guitar for his 13th birthday. Bielma has played in a number of Beatle tribute bands.
“I love the Beatles so much, I get a feeling of what the Beatles felt like to watch the audience react to their music, they love it, and for that I get a warm feeling inside,” said Bielma.
The hardest thing for Bielma to play “George?” “I am a very energetic person, I tend to speak very fast and use my hands a lot, but George speaks very slow, and is very mellow,” said Bielma. “I just have to tone it down when I get on stage,” he added.
The band is managed Maher who worked as the promotions director of radio station KNAC in 1982, when he was hired to manage Guns N' Roses. He continued as a member of the band's management until they broke up, but continued to manage guitarist Slash, Zack Wylde as well as the legendary Leon Russell. Maher presently represents a diverse roster of clients including Motorhead, Zebrahead, jazz guitarist John Jorgensen and teen pop star Jeremy Ashida.
Along with Maher, retired trial lawyer turned award winning musical producer Andy Nagle rounds out the production team.
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