The Story of Let it Be

In the fall of 2019, the Walnut Hill School for the Arts Theater Department produced an original show called Let it Be, featuring the music of the Beatles. As of December 2022, Let it Be has been made available for production licensing through the Broadway Licensing Group—and we would like to share the story of its conception with you!

Several years ago, Maggie Pitts, former Theater Department faculty member and the show’s creator, saw a production of Moving Out, the Billy Joel jukebox musical, and questioned why no one had ever created a Beatles musical before. Over the next several years of attempting to write the show, Maggie found the answer: getting the grand rights to the Beatles’ music was a feat. After years of writing, calling, and contacting anyone who could help in securing rights, in the summer of 2019, Maggie received a call back from Annerin Productions, who currently had their own Beatles tribute show running on the West End, interested in helping to make Let it Be a reality. 

Once the rights were secured with the help of Annerin Productions, StageWork Productions, and musical arranger and orchestrator David Abbinanti, Let it Be was ready to be workshopped. At the time, Maggie was working in our Theater Department, and knew that she wanted to first produce Let it Be using the school’s talented students. Maggie directed and choreographed the show and Let it Be was produced with the help of Joe Cabral and music director Gina Fiore. The show became a rocking 75-minute piece, and included new projection design by Mike Micucci. The Broadway Licensing Group shared their interest in seeing the show and having it filmed. They also expressed interest in licensing the rights to the show, but COVID-19 delayed the process until Summer of 2022. At this point, they decided they specifically wanted to license the Walnut Hill version of the show.

What was particularly special about Let it Be was that it gave students the opportunity to explore and workshop new material, something theater students usually do not get to do until college. Maggie, Joe, Gina, and the students involved were able to practice their artistic freedom and figure out the show on their feet. No other school has had the opportunity to workshop a new show and then have it licensed for production. 

The licensing rights and information for Let it Be can be found on the Broadway Licensing Group’s website. As stated on its licensing page: “Featuring the sensational songs of the Beatles, Let it Be transports its audience back to the innocence, turbulence, and hopefulness of the 1960s. The lyrics and music take center stage, allowing room for the direction and choreography to help shape the story without the confines of a traditional book musical. The exuberance of teenagers first hearing I Want To Hold Your Hand, the sadness of lost love through Yesterday, the empathy for those who struggle in the balletic Blackbird, and the rebelliousness in Come Together prove that these timeless songs are all you need to drive the narrative of the characters and their journey.”

Photo by Liza Voll

  • Theater