IN FEBRUARY, the Annerin Productions-produced concert Let It Be launched its first North American tour (apart from a successful 2010 run on Broadway) with a string of dates through Canada and the U.S. A musical tribute to the Beatles, Let It Be went worldwide in just over two years with performances in Russia, Japan, the U.K., Singapore, France, Germany, Switzerland and New Zealand.
The show’s producer, Jeff Parry of Annerin Productions, started out working on oil rigs in small-town Alberta to make money before falling into promoting.
“Put your head between your legs and kiss your ass goodbye” is the sage advice that Parry imparts to anyone contemplating theater promotion as a profession. Parry has been one for 35 years and has experienced some of the most trying hurdles in the game––including a 2013 lawsuit filed by the creators of the Beatles tribute show Rain, which had a run on Broadway in 2010 and 2011. The suit accused Let it Be of ripping off Rain, but was ultimately dismissed.
Let it Be launched in fall 2012, 50 years after the Beatles released their first single, “Love Me Do,” in 1962. It was introduced on London’s West End in September. The production features more than 20 of the Fab Four’s greatest hits, traces the group’s rise from Liverpool’s Cavern Club to Beatlemania to the end of the road.
“Don’t be in love with the shows you’re promoting,” Parry warns, despite the fact that he was made a Beatles fan at a very young age, and now produces the only show featuring their music that has played London’s West End and Broadway. “I didn’t want anything to do with this [show], but it was inevitable.”
By way of advice to aspiring musical theater producers, Parry says: “Most don’t have the stomach for it. There’s a saying: if you can take $25,000 in cash, put it on the driveway, douse it in kerosene, light it on fire and watch it burn, you can probably be a promoter.”
For more info, visit Annerin.com.