June 4, 2020

Backbeat: The Birth of The Beatles at Ahmanson, Jan. 20—March 1


Backbeat, the dramatic new play with music about the birth of one of the greatest rock ‘n’ roll bands in history, The Beatles, will have its U.S. premiere at the Ahmanson Theatre.

Previews begin Jan. 20 and performances continue through March 1, with opening night set for Jan. 30.

Featuring the all-time rock ‘n’ roll classics that the Beatles cut their teeth on – “Money,” “Long Tall Sally,” “Twist and Shout,” “Good Golly Miss Molly,” “Please Mr. Postman,” “Rock ‘n’ Roll Music” and more—Backbeat is set in 1960 when John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Pete Best (the drummer before Ringo Starr joined the group) and Stuart Sutcliffe (the band’s original bassist) embarked on their journey from the docks of Liverpool to the red light district of Hamburg. There they worked in the clubs of the tawdry Reeperbahn, performing rock ‘n’ roll covers night after night, all the while honing what would become the Beatles’ sound.

John Lennon was fond of saying, “We were born in Liverpool, but we grew up in Hamburg.”

Backbeat is also the compelling story of Sutcliffe, who falls in love with the striking German photographer Astrid Kirchherr, and must choose between being with her and resuming his painting, or staying with his best friend, John Lennon, and playing in the band. This triangular relationship became an intrinsic part of the Beatles' story, the decisions they made and the music they played that put them on an unstoppable trajectory onto the world stage.

The cast will feature Nick Blood (as Stuart Sutcliffe), Leanne Best (Astrid Kirchherr), Andrew Knott (John Lennon), Oliver Bennett (Pete Best), Daniel Healy (Paul McCartney) and Daniel Westwick (George Harrison).

Backbeat is co-written by Iain Softley and Stephen Jeffreys, based on the 1994 Universal Pictures film by Softley, Michael Thomas and Stephen Ward. Five-time Tony Award nominee David Leveaux directs.

Backbeat is presented by Karl Sydow in association with Glasgow Citizens Theatre, where it first opened in February 2010 and made its West End debut in London in October 2011. Following the presentation at the Ahmanson, Backbeat will move to Broadway.

Tickets are available by calling (213) 972-4400; CenterTheatreGroup.org; or in person at the Center Theatre Group box office at the Ahmanson Theatre.

Tickets range from $20 - $110 (ticket prices are subject to change). The Ahmanson Theatre is located at the Music Center, 135 N. Grand Avenue in Downtown L.A. 90012.