NEW YORK — Reuven Gershon and James Fox have some insanely daunting shoes to fill: Every night, they’re asked to impersonate John and Paul on Broadway.
Yes, that John and Paul.
Gershon and Fox portray, respectively, John Lennon and Paul McCartney in a Fab Four cover band that has taken its concert show, “Let It Be,” from London’s West End to New York.
Over two hours, the duo — Fox is from Cardiff, Wales, and Gershon is from Birmingham, England — help bang out some 40 classic Beatles songs, from “She Loves You” to “While My Guitar Gently Weeps.”
“We have very important jobs because these people will never get to see the Beatles. This is the closest they’ll come, so the representation has to be pretty accurate. It’s a big responsibility,” says Fox. “It’s everyone’s musical Bible, isn’t it?”
They’re helping quench an unquenchable thirst for Beatles music that stretches from the Las Vegas home of the Cirque du Soleil show “Love” to fake Beatles bands crisscrossing the nation prompting complaints they’re just doing glorified karaoke.
Both men, part of a 10-man contingent cast for Broadway, are singer-songwriters in their 30s with a background in theater who originated their iconic roles in London, even if the program or show never actually identifies them as George, John, Paul or Ringo. Each can sing and play piano, guitar and bass.
“What you have to be good at is being able to replicate what they did,” says Gershon, who performs as Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin for birthday celebrations and weddings and has played Buddy Holly in the musical “Buddy” in the West End. “It never ends. There’s always more you can do.”
Legal shadow: As if to add to the pressure, Fox and Gershon are also playing McCartney and Lennon during a lawsuit.