Beatles tribute acts Rain and Let It Be in legal fight over who had idea of 'jukebox musical' show

By Staff 0

  • Court battle between producers of rival stage musicals Rain and Let It Be
  • Rain is longest-running and most successful Beatles tribute show
  • Lawsuit alleges there is much that is similiar or identical in newer show
  • Rain say the team behind Let It Be had agreed to share revenue 50/50
  • But Let It Be camp say there are bound to be similarities in Beatles shows
  • Let It Be opens on Broadway next week after successful London run

By Harriet Arkell

PUBLISHED: 05:58 EST, 17 July 2013 | UPDATED: 06:08 EST, 17 July 2013

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Two Beatles tribute bands are involved in a heated court battle over whether one of the musicals about the Fab Four has copied the other.

The fight is between the producers of two shows: Let It Be, which is about to open in Broadway after a successful London run, and Rain, the first and longest-running Beatles show that played on Broadway in 2010 and 2011.

The creators of Rain are suing their rivals for copyright infringement, and seeking half of their revenue from the show because they claim it uses many of the same songs and has 'similar or identical' artwork.

The cast of Let It Be, the Beatles tribute show whose producers are being sued by another musical, Rain

The cast of Let It Be, the Beatles tribute show whose producers are being sued by another musical, Rain

The Rain tribute show is the longest-running and most successful of the musicals devoted to the Fab Four

The Rain tribute show is the longest-running and most successful of the musicals devoted to the Fab Four

They also want Rain Corporation to be listed as a joint author of Let It Be, saying that their team had huge involvement in the newer show, advising on script, costume and even wigs.

Among the elements of their show that the Rain camp say are copied in Let It Be are musical arrangements (28 of the 31 songs in Rain are in Let It Be), the floppy haircuts, and the between-songs Liverpudlian banter.

The lawyer for the Let It Be producers Jeff Parry and Annerin Productions, Peter S Cane, said any show about the same band was working from the same source material.

He told the New York Times: 'How do you monopolise the abiltiy to present an impersonation of The Beatles?

'How many different ways can you really do it?  The Beatles acted a certain way, they played certain notes, they spoke a certain way.'

A lawyer for the Rain Corporation did not comment but referred back to the legal complaint, which says both camps agreed to work on a joint production in 2005, which became Rain.

The real deal: The Beatles, who disbanded in 1970, at the 1967 launch of their Sgt Pepper album

The real deal: The Beatles, who disbanded in 1970, at the 1967 launch of their Sgt Pepper album

The lawsuit says that Mr Parry wanted to stage a London version of the show, which ultimately became Let It Be, but then sent an email saying the 50/50 agreement was no longer valid and that the Rain producers would receive instead just 7.125 per cent of the revenue.

The Rain Corporation is now saying it is entitled to half of the proceeds from Let It Be when it opens in New York next week.

Tags: USA

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