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Get Back! had Audience Members on Their Feet at Teatro Vallarta
email this pageprint this pageemail usRoberta Rand - PVNN
October 11, 2010

October 7th's Get Back! performance by a Beatles tribute band at Teatro Vallarta had everyone in the audience on their feet.
"It was pure karaoke," as Simon Cowell might be wont to comment, but the audience for Thursday night's Get Back! performance by a Beatles tribute band at Teatro Vallarta didn't seem to mind. From the opening chords of "I Want to Hold Your Hand," the uni-demographic audience of aging Gringo baby boomers and teen-age Mexican Vallartans sang along en-masse, matching word-for-word the lyrics to "She Loves You," "Help," and "Hey Jude."

Kids in Beatles tee-shirts who weren't born till a quarter century after the Beatles broke up seemed to have the Beatles catalog memorized, calling out requests which were largely ignored by the performers - this was, after all, a scripted performance, not a real rock-n-roll show. But if one squinted hard and suspended disbelief for two hours, it was easy to imagine that the four sort-of doppelgangers really were John, Paul, George and Ringo.

Get Back! packed the hall, surely an encouraging sign for new theater director Sergio Zepeda. "We want to offer cultural entertainment that appeals to a broad range of tastes and musical interests," said Zepeda. "We hope that Americans, Canadians, Europeans and Mexicans alike will feel that Teatro Vallarta is their theater home in Puerto Vallarta. We're doing all we can to bring sophisticated international-style performances to this city - a little something for everyone."

Zepeda cites upcoming shows, including a new version of the popular contemporary music and dance revue Fandango, Presidance, (a hybrid of Riverdance and STOMP, according to Zepeda) and a classical performance by the Bolshoi Ballet.

Get Back! sampled music from the Beatle's mop-top early days through the "Sgt. Pepper's" era, "The White Album," and finally, "Abbey Road." The audience was primed for a total Beatles experience, but equipment glitches, sound problems and clumsy segues drained performance and audience energy. The band apparently had no rehearsed patter for such contingencies. Nevertheless, the good-natured audience hung in there and gave "Get Back" a standing ovation that brought the four faux Liverpudlians back for one more high-energy encore of "Back in the U.S.S.R."

Note to Teatro Vallarta Staff: It might behoove black-shirted crowd-control types to begin educating audience members to be in their seats five minutes before curtain time with cell phones and Blackberries turned OFF.

Some older theater goers grumbled about the lateness of the performance; it was nearly midnight by the last curtain call. It's also odd and annoying that hundreds of techno-junkies only yards from a live stage felt they had to watch the performance in miniature with their i-phones held up for the entire show. Helloooo. The joy of live theater is that it's LIVE. If you want to watch something on your TV, stay home!

Prior to relocating to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico from Colorado Springs with her dog, Bo, Roberta Rand worked as a magazine editor, web editor and marketing copywriter. She is also an essayist and author, whose book "Playing the Tuba at Midnight" explored the quirks of living single.

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