Center Theatre Group/Ahmanson Theatre just announced their 2012-13 season, which is set to include BACKBEAT. The birth of one of the greatest rock 'n' roll bands in history is told in the new dramatic musical "Backbeat," which will have its American premiere and pre-Broadway presentation at the Ahmanson Theatre, January 16 through February 24, 2013. The opening is set for January 23.
"Backbeat," the story of how the Beatles 'became' the Beatles, is co-written by Iain Softley and Stephen Jeffreys, based on the 1994 Universal Pictures film by Softley, Michael Thomas and Stephen Ward. "Backbeat" is directed by five-time Tony Award nominee David Leveaux.
Featuring the all-time rock 'n' roll classics that the Beatles cut their teeth on – "Money," "Long Tall Sally," "Twist and Shout," "Good Golly Miss Molly," "Please Mr. Postman," "Rock 'n' Roll Music" and more, "Backbeat" is set in 1960 when John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Pete Best (the drummer before Ringo Starr joined the group) and Stuart Sutcliffe (the band's original bassist) embarked on their journey from the docks of Liverpool to the red light district of Hamburg. There they worked in the clubs of the tawdry Reeperbahn, performing rock 'n' roll covers night after night, all the while honing what would become the Beatles' sound.
"Backbeat" is also the compelling story of Sutcliffe, who falls in love with the striking German photographer Astrid Kirchherr, and must choose between being with her and resuming his painting, or staying with his best friend, John Lennon, and playing in the band. This triangular relationship became an intrinsic part of the Beatles story, and the decisions made and the music played put them on an unstoppable trajectory onto the world stage.
Casting for "Backbeat" will be announced at a later date.
"Backbeat" is presented by Karl Sydow in association with Glasgow Citizens Theatre, where it first opened in February 2010. "Backbeat" made its West End debut in London in October 2011. It will open in Toronto in July 2012. Following the presentation at the Ahmanson in early 2013, "Backbeat" will move to Broadway.
Tickets for the Ahmanson Theatre's 46th season are currently available by subscription only. For information and to charge season tickets by phone, call the Exclusive Season Ticket Hotline at (213) 972-4444. To purchase subscriptions on-line, visit CenterTheatreGroup.org. For information regarding audio description and Project D.A.T.E. (sign language interpreted, open caption and audio description performances) call TDD (213) 680-4017 or voice (213) 972-4444.
Photo Credit: Walter McBride / Retna Ltd.