‘Rain’ and ‘Secret Order’ are both well done

James Wagner, left, and Robert Krakovski in the Regional

If you have never seen The Beatles, this will be a close
encounter of any kind. If you have experienced the group, there
will be many nostalgic moments in this well-done event.
‘Rain – A Tribute To The Beatles’: If you have never seen The Beatles, this will be a close encounter of any kind. If you have experienced the group, there will be many nostalgic moments in this well-done event.

“Rain” covers the Fab Four from their very first Ed Sullivan Show to the Abbey Road album, through the psychedelic ’60s and their long-haired, hippie, hard-rocking rooftop days. “Rain” is a multi-media, multi-dimensional experience – a fusion of historical footage from the ’60s that is transferred to the video screens as live cameras zoom in for close-ups.

Even though “Rain – A Tribute To The Beatles” has been playing for more than three decades (starting in the mid-’70s), it still has a freshness and vitality that will bring the audience close to experiencing the phenomenon that changed the music industry forever.

From the band’s earlier works of “I Want To Hold Your Hand”, “Hard Day’s Night” and “Can’t Buy My Love”, to later songs, including “Let It Be”, “Hey Jude” and “Yesterday”, the four singers/musicians carry the melodies and movements with an authenticity that will make the audience feel like now is then. These performers – and fine musicians – are a perfect fit.

Just fewer than 30 of the Beatles nearly 200 songs are included with quick costume and wig changes to keep up with the times of the shows that are being presented.

If you are a Beatles aficionado, this will be an evening of fond memories for some and an awesome experience for others. A few hours in the past in this instance is a good thing.

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‘Rain’

Where: San Jose Center for the Performing Arts, 255 Almaden Blvd., San Jose

Through: Oct. 31

Tickets: Starting at $20

Details: Call (408) 792-4111 or visit www.broadway sanjose.com

‘Secret Order’: Ethics and greed make strange bedfellows

The fact the playwright Bob Clyman is also a clinical psychologist gives “Secret Order” an authentic feel. His words spew out in machine gun rattling moments not ordinarily used in most productions, which make the audience listen with attention.

Let’s face it. When someone talks about a cure for cancer, we listen – but this is not entirely what this plot is about. The how, what and where researchers get the funds to feed their research and a possible Nobel dream come true in the future is the main gist.

A young, bright, unknown and naive cancer researcher from the Midwest, William Shumway (James Wagner), is lured into the big time research world by lab director Robert Brock (Robert Krakovski), whose presence engulfs the space around him like a rampaging tsunami.

The older and wiser toxicology chief, Saul Roth (Julian Lopez Morillas), is being undermined by Brock when he asks too many questions. Dedicated undergraduate Alice Curiton (Kathryn Tkel), as Shumway’s perky assistant, has the drive and brilliance of the brightest nova in the heavens and will sacrifice everything for the means to the successful end – as long as she is a part of it.

Chris Smith deftly directs this exceptionally brilliant cast. The creatively inspired set by David Lee Cuthbert, with lighting designer Pamila Gray, brings life to the creativity and is an amazing wonder to behold.

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‘Secret Order’

Where: San Jose Rep, 101 Paseo de San Antonio, San Jose

Through: Nov. 7

Tickets: $35-$74

Details: (408) 367-7255 or visit www.sjrep.com

Clyman delves into the ethics, compromises and sacrifices that Brock is willing to make and have others make to push his dream through.

This is a well done production that will keep your attention. It really gives everyone something to think about: ego, ethics, reputation and money.

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