Beatles – Rival Tributes in Lawsuit
There’s a legal battle between a pair of theatrical Beatles tributes — one of which played Broadway two years ago, and the other, which is just opening in New York. The New York Times reports that the producers of Rain, which enjoyed a successful run at the beginning of the decade, are suing those behind Let it Be, New York’s latest production featuring Beatles songs and custumed lookalikes. Rain’s legal team is seeking 50-percent of the revenue of the newer show.
Let it Be, now in previews, shares 28 of its 31 songs with Rain — and Rain’s suit also alleges that the background artwork used on stage is “similar or identical.”
Peter Cane, the lawyer representing the Let it Be producers, tells the Times, “How do you monopolize the ability 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.”
The problems stem back to 2005, when a partnership was created for Rain. Four years later, two of the partners decided to bring the show to London. But instead of using the original title, they changed it to Let it Be, and allegedly let the original contract expire and cut the percentage of royalties to those who staged the American show.