People around the world know the Beatles. But not everyone knows exactly how the Beatles came to be. That’s the story behind Backbeat, one of Toronto’s hottest new musical theatre productions. Originally a 1994 British-German film production written and directly by Ian Softley, Backbeat traces the earliest days of the Beatles, when the then-unknown group spent two years playing shows in Germany, developing their sound, their signature style and a following of fans enamored by the group’s live shows.
Backbeat focuses on John Lennon’s relationship with good friend and Stuart Sutcliffe, the Beatles’ original bass player. As the group’s fame grew, so did Sutcliffe’s love for girlfriend Astrid Kirchherr and his desire to devote himself to his passion for painting. Eventually, Sutcliffe left the Beatles, Ringo Starr was recruited to play drums, and the rest, as they say, is history.
After successful runs in Glasgow and London, Mirvish Productions has brought Backbeat to Toronto’s Royal Alexandra Theatre. The show opened on July 29 and continues to September 2. Weaving the story of the Beatles with rollicking renditions of fan favorites including Love Me Do, Twist & Shout and Money, Backbeat looks like a sure bet for visitors in Toronto who want to see a top production in one of the city’s most storied theatres.