BritBeat brings sights, sounds of The Beatles to Dover

BritBeat, an immersive tribute to The Beatles, will take the stage at the Modern Maturity Center Feb. 25 with a show that spans the entire career of The Fab Four. (Submitted photo)

DOVER — What started out as a lark between four high school musicians has evolved into a internationally touring multimedia salute to perhaps the best-known band of all time.

BritBeat, an immersive concert journey through Beatles music history, will perform for the sixth annual Modern Maturity Center Winter Dinner Concert, Saturday, Feb. 25, at the Dover facility.

BritBeat recreates the Beatles’ touring years against a backdrop of projected images and video.

The show begins with the early Ed Sullivan songs that includes “She Loves You,” “Twist and Shout” and “I Want To Hold Your Hand.”

It continues with songs from ‘“Magical Mystery Tour,” “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band,” and the later years of “The White Album,” “Let It Be” and “Abbey Road.”

Chris Getsla, the founder and leader of the band who plays Paul McCartney, said the group started in 1999 when he was a junior in high school in Glenview, Illinois.

“We just had an idea to be The Beatles for the school variety show. We wore black turtlenecks and tried be as Beatley as possible,” he said.

“We auditioned and got in the show easily as the faculty members were all Baby Boomers. The next year they said we didn’t even have to audition and they suggested we do something off of ‘Sgt. Pepper’.”

Mr. Getsla said their act was so popular that it continued in college and it was picked up by agents who took it to another level.

“The show back in high school was four guys banging out tunes but now we’ve developed a complete theatrical presentation. It’s grown to the point where we have costume changes and special video multimedia projections to give the audience a total Beatles experience,” he said.

Mr. Getsla thinks that complete multimedia aspect is what makes BritBeat different from other Beatles tribute

BritBeat started with four friends who performed as The Beatles in an high school talent show in 1999. (Submitted photo)

shows.

“You can definitely say that not all Beatles tribute bands are created equal. Some take more of a cover style and some do more of a tribute. But when it comes to theatrics and the way we present the show, we like to think that sets us apart,” he said.

The band’s lineup has changed since high school but the current roster has been together a few years now.

“Everyone in the group are Beatles fanatics and we try to get the right costuming and mannerisms down for all of the characters,” he said.

“We are paying homage to what The Beatles created and presented back in the 1960s. It’s a huge responsibility to make sure it looks good and sounds good. All of the performers take pride in that.”

Besides Mr. Getsla playing Paul McCartney, the Chicago-based band is made up of David Robinson as Ringo Starr, Geoff Allen as George Harrison and Eli Echevarria as John Lennon.

Mr. Getsla said he sees all ages at BritBeat’s shows.

“The Baby Boomers are the largest demographic but it’s really across the board,” he said.

“A lot of kids know all of The Beatles’ names and they want us to sign their programs after the show. Unfortunately no one will be able to see all four of them perform together again so the closest you can get is a tribute band now.”

BritBeat has performed with “The Fifth Beatle” Pete Best, who was The Beatles’ drummer in their early days. It was at a show in Chicago in 2005 to commemorate the 40th anniversary of The Beatles playing Comiskey Park.

“The stories he had of playing Liverpool and Hamburg with The Beatles were unbelievable. It was a privilege to perform with him,” Mr. Getsla said.

Another career highlight was in 2014 when they played a show to commemorate the 50th anniversary of The Beatles playing The Indiana State Fair Coliseum.

“The show was moved to the Coliseum itself and they tried to recreate the original show as much as possible,” Mr. Getsla said.

The recreation was so close, they even used the same microphones The Beatles used that night.

After the Dover show, the band will hop on the Flower Power Cruise to Jamaica. The cruise features music legends such as Mickey Dolenz, The Fifth Dimension, Three Dog Night and The Yardbirds.

“I often have to pinch myself. We’ll talk about how lucky we are in the airport or during rehearsal. We’ve been to Alaska four times and we’ve performed from California to New York and the Caribbean to Mexico. And we still take a lot of pride in what we do,” Mr. Getsla said.

The cost of the Modern Maturity Center event, which is co-sponsored by B&B Music, is $55 per person for dinner and the show.

A limited number of VIP tickets are available for $75. VIP tickets include dinner, show, meet and greet with the band at a private reception, and premium seating in the first three rows for the performance.

Dinner is at 6 p.m., and the show begins at 7:30.

Tickets are available at MMC Member Services by calling 302-734-1200 ext. 167.

The Modern Maturity Center is at 1121 Forrest Ave., Dover.

Reach features editor Craig Horleman at chorl@newszap.com

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