Entertainment & Arts

Let it Be producer sued by rival Beatles tribute show

The cast of Let it Be in the West End
Image caption Let it Be's West End version has had rave reviews

A producer of the Beatles musical Let It Be is being sued by the creators of a rival tribute show.

Rain Corporation claims Let It Be is based on its show, Rain - A Tribute to the Beatles, which played on Broadway in 2010 and 2011.

It said it worked with Jeff Parry's Annerin Productions on the musical and is asking for a 50-50 split of Annerin's revenue.

Let It Be has been in London's West End since September 2012.

The show is due to open on Broadway on 24 July.

The London production is made by Annerin and LIB London Limited. The other producers of the London show are not involved in the legal action.

Legal papers filed in New York show five companies including Jeff Parry Promotions, Annerin and Nirenna Productions and Rain London Limited, entered into a co-production with Rain Corporation to create a London show in 2005.

Rain Corporation claimed it had spent "countless hours" working on Let It Be, "training current cast members, creating and contributing to the creation of video and other artwork".

It also said it oversaw and contributed to "the creation of the set design and music".

The Rain Corporation argued Let It Be was a "derivative work... that incorporates much of the book from Rain - A Tribute, as well as the video footage, artwork, and staging".

It also said it used similar musical arrangements, including using 28 out of the 31 songs used in Rain - A Tribute.

The legal papers call for Rain Corporation to be listed as a joint author of Let it Be.

Lawyer Peter S Cane who is representing the companies being sued told the BBC News website: "Let It Be is a tribute to the Beatles, not to the four guys who impersonate the Beatles.

"How do you monopolise the ability to present an impersonation of the Beatles?"

A spokesman for the West End version of Let It Be said it was unable to comment on the dispute.

He added the legal claim was "taking place solely in the USA and does not involve LIB London Limited, which was granted the grand theatrical rights to the Beatles catalogue when it opened in the West End last year".

Let It Be features a tribute band that recreate the Beatles' story from their early performances at Liverpool's Cavern Club through to their later years.

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