The producers and creators of the Broadway Beatles tribute extravaganza Rain: A Tribute to the Beatles, are suing the producers of the new Beatles tribute show Let It Be, which is slated to begin performances on July 16 at Broadway's St. James Theatre, according to The New York Times. The Rain Corporation, who claims they had a hand in creating Let It Be, seeks 50 percent revenue and to be listed as joint author of the new Broadway show.
According to the Times, Let It Be producers Jeff Parry and Annerin Productions had reportedly agreed to collaborate on a production, originally called Rain—A Tribute, with Rain Corporation in 2005. Rain Corporation, Parry and Annerin Productions created a “50-50 percent partnership” in 2009, and all members were listed as producers of Rain on Broadway in 2010. Later in the year, Parry asked the Rain Corporation if he could produce a London mounting of Rain, and they agreed to let him use Rain’s materials, including scripts, costumes and blocking. In September 2012, two days before their “50-50 percent partnership” agreement was set to expire, the production, now titled Let It Be, began previews, and Parry reportedly sent an e-mail to Rain Corporation explaining that they were only entitled to 7.125 percent of Let It Be’s revenue.
Let It Be contains 28 of the 31 songs included in Rain, and according to the lawsuit, features background artwork that is “similar or identical” to Rain’s design. “How do you monopolize the ability to present and impersonation to the Beatles?” Peter S. Cane, the defense lawyer for Let It Be told The New York Times. “How many different ways can you really do it? The Beatles acted a certain way, played certain notes, they spoke a certain way.” Press representatives for Let It Be were not available for comment.