Updated Thu, Nov 8, 2012 3:08 pm
Like millions of other Americans, Jon Ferris will never forget The Beatles' 1964 appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show.
"It was all anyone talked about the next day at school," he said. "All day long it was 'Beatles, Beatles, Beatles.'"
Ferris, who plays John Lennon in the Beatles tribute band BritishMania, hopes to jog a few memories, and perhaps create a few new ones, this Saturday during Stuart's Opera House's annual Fall Fundraiser.
The band, which has performed at venues throughout the world, including the famous Cavern Club in Liverpool, England, strives to be as authentic as possible, with costume changes and songs that span the Fab Four's career.
"We cover the different eras, from Ed Sullivan up through Abbey Road," said Ferris. "It's a full theatrical show. In addition to using period-accurate instruments and clothes, we're also using video that shows historical events from the 1960s."
Ferris also said that, thanks to current technology, BritishMania performs material that Beatles didn't--or couldn't--play live, including songs like "A Day in The Life" and "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band."
While Stuart's is known for bringing in a variety of musical acts, this is the first time it has hosted a Beatles tribute band. However, it's not too out of character for the venue, which has regularly presented Elvis impersonator Dwight Icenhower and "A Night With The Legends," in which local celebrities cover songs by classic artists.
"We've tried to keep things interesting and fun," said Brian Koscho, marketing and promotions director for Stuart's Opera House. "We want to continue that with BritishMania. This is a night where we ask for the support of people who believe that Stuart's is important and that the arts in Southeast Ohio are important. That support helps us continue to produce quality programming all year."
The Stuart's Opera House staff tries to do something different each year, and that extends to the food being offered, according to board member Miki Brooks.
"We’ve done progressive dinners, we’ve done dinner in a tent, we’ve done dinner in a storefront...this year we decided we’d really change it up," she said. "I’m not going to call it dinner, but I’m going to call it enough to eat...for everybody."
Past fundraisers had special tickets that only allowed about 100 people to attend a dinner, but it was decided to open it up to everyone this year.
"We wanted to give everyone an opportunity to sample some great local food and see a great show," said Brooks.
Saturday's event will also include a raffle, with chances to win a Rocky Outdoor Gear Store gift certificate, Nelsonville Music Festival passes, a Trek bike from Athens Bicycle, a guided hike of Crane Hollow Nature Preserve, two Cleveland Browns tickets, Stuart's Opera House rental, stained glass from artist John Matz, a handmade wooden chest from Stephen Kropf, signed and framed Stuart's posters and four vacation opportunities, including houses on Sanibel Island and Sarasota in Florida, a Pigeon Forge cabin in the Smoky Mountains and a condo on Hilton Head Island.
Brooks called this year's fundraiser a "baffle. It’s not quite a bash, and it’s bigger than a raffle."
Visit www.stuartsoperahouse.org for tickets and information.