2003-10-17 / Columnists

Notes from the High C’s

Rockaway Music and Arts Council
by Sharon Gabriel
Notes from the High C’s Rockaway Music and Arts Council by Sharon Gabriel

Welcome to Fall. We would like to wish a Happy New Year to all of our Jewish friends and as the leaves on the trees change, and pumpkins come into sight, a Happy Halloween to all of our little trick-or-treaters.

No tricks but a big treat for all of our friends on November 22 when the Rockaway Music and Arts Council is happy to present, straight from Broadway, the cast of "Beatlemania," Saturday evening, the 22, at 7:30pm at Beach Channel High School. Tickets are moderately priced for both the orchestra and balcony with a discount for RMAC members. Look through this newspaper and you will see our ad, which includes a ticket form. Just fill that out and return it to the RMAC and you will receive your tickets. Tickets can also be purchased at the Wave, West End Realty on 116 Street, One Hour Photo on Beach Channel Drive and East End Realty on Central Avenue in Far Rockaway.

Why go all the way to Manhattan, spend $100.00 per ticket, then dinner, parking the car and tips, when you can spend less than half of that and see the same show right here in Rockaway?

I don’t think there is a person alive today who has not heard of the Beatles, those mop-haired kids from Liverpool, England, who set the music world on its ear in the early 1960’s. Maybe you didn’t like them at first, like I didn’t, but they grew on you. Everyone could sing "I Want To Hold Your Hand," "Hey Jude," "She Loves You," and "Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds" and all that was supposed to mean, what with drugs and all. Don’t ask me because that wasn’t my thing.

That the Beatles were a phenomenon, their impact on the world is still discussed today, 40 years later. If you were lucky enough to see them perform, as I was, you would never forget it. More about that later. As George and John are now gone, the magic of the Beatles lives on stunningly recreated by the cast of "Beatlemania." Their hair, their clothes and humor all contributed to their impact and the hysteria they created wherever they appeared.

As the times changed, so did the Beatles and the cast recreates the sights and sounds of each period with costume changes and different music. The cast features members who starred in the Broadway production and who have performed in all fifty states and many foreign countries. The cast was individually selected from thousands who auditioned and they are fantastic. If you read any of the reviews when they opened on Broadway, you know why they are great.

The Beatles themselves have said they were originally inspired by performers such as Elvis Presley, Chuck Berry and Buddy Holly and they recaptured much of the freshness and excitement of the earliest days of rock "n" roll. Even today, they remain universally popular though they disbanded in 1970.

Now to my adventures at a Beatles concert. When they first appeared in New York at Shea Stadium, I worked in the entertainment industry. We had access to tickets to the first and second concerts. The executives of our company went to the first night and said their executive assistants had to go the second night because they would just not believe the whole thing. Since I was one of the assistants, I went along. We had a driver drop us at Shea and we went to our seats. I don’t think, even at that point, I could hear myself think; the noise was deafening. Inside the stadium it was even worse, and that was before the Beatles appeared on stage. Our seats were near home plate and we had a direct line and close vision of the "boys." The place was a madhouse and the screaming unbelievable. When the Beatles finally appeared I thought the world exploded and I was just afraid that the young girls sitting above us in the next tier were going to fall on our heads. They were jumping up and down and leaning over the railing and I kept looking up for fear of an accident.

Don’t even ask me what they sang because you couldn’t hear one word. If Paul just happened to turn his head in a certain direction, the screaming in that part of the stadium got even worse, if that was possible. I can’t remember how long the concert went on but it was the craziest thing I had ever seen and something I will never forget.

So…you can now get a feel of what those times were like by attending the concert at Beach Channel High School on the evening of November 22, 7:30pm. See you there.

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