Oh what a night! Early February back in 2010 … [Read more…]
Oh what a night! Early February back in 2010 … [Read more…]
Saw Jersey Boys, again, this past weekend with the familia,Â on BroadwayÂ and sadly my show wasn’tÂ starring the fabulous Jarrod Spector as â€˜Frankie Valli.â€™ We tried to get tickets for one of his dates, but alas no luck
Absolutely love this musical and canâ€™t seem to stop talking about it, so why not dedicate yet another #MusicMonday to it.
Currently, gracing stages in [Read more…]
Winner of 4 Tony Awards, including Best Musical, I don’t think I’ve fallen for theatre this hard since Elphaba belted out Defying GravityÂ (2:48).
The Four Lovers, later the Four Seasons, later Frankie Valli (with an ‘I,’ not a ‘Y’) and the Four Seasons was one of the most successful and popular American, rock’n’rollÂ bands to come out of the 1960s.
You ask four guys,
you get four different answers.
Premiering at the La Jolla Playhouse on October 5, 2004, I’ve waited nearlyÂ three years to see it. Sadness. One of the horrors of not living in London or New York City is the lack of theatre options until Broadway Across America graces your local city.
Nonetheless,Â following the lives of Tommy DeVito, Frankie Valli, Bob Gaudio and Nick Massi (R.I.P.), Jersey Boys tells their story through the band’s hit songs: Sherry, Big Girls Don’t Cry, Stay, Can’t Take My Eyes Off Of You, December, 1963 (Oh What a Night), Opus (don’t you worry ’bout me), My Eyes Adored You etc., – I know you know at least one of those songs!
An original cast recording, (on Rhino Entertainment — why didn’t Decca Records pick this up?), Jersey Boys: Original Broadway Cast Recording, is available and was recently certified Gold, following in the footsteps of the ever-so-Popular, Wicked. All of you Sopranos fans out there, would remember well the 2007 Emmy Awards, when Jersey Boys held a tribute number to the HBO series featuring the San Francisco (and Chicago) cast.
Opening the show with a French, hip-hop artist in the year 2000 coveringÂ a Four Seasons track, Ces Soirees-La, the musical travels back in time to the “old neighborhood” in New Jersey where Tommy DeVito is searching for a lead singer for his band. Eventually, finding Frankie Valli, a “16-year old kid” like his little brother, Tommy enlists Frankie and his “voice like an angel.” A few stints in jail, nights of singing under a street lamp and a guy named Bob Gaudio, thanks to an ever-so-annoying, loud mouth,Â teenage Joe Pesci, later, the Four Lovers are formed.
With a road-family, including theÂ 1960s girl-group the Angels (you know the song, “My Boyfriend’s Back” — those chicks), murder-schemes and “little bars of soap”Â laced in “dirty hotel towels on the floor” (via Tommy of course) the Four Lovers eventually become the Four Seasons. The rest is history…
A few highlights include, Bob Gaudio singing December, 1963 (Oh What a night) in a scene where Tommy and Nick take him to a brothel for his first-time. Let’s just say, not until Jersey Boys did that thought cross my mind about a song I used to sing when I was 10 back in 1994 when the track was re-released into a remix for mainstream radio! “We have lift-off!”
Love, absolutely love, the scene where Frankie and Mary Delgado (Mary Valli, R.I.P.) break-up and he sings My Eyes Adored You as she sits on the stairs, whiskey in hand and sobs. The scene is just as poignant and strong as two following scenes that are centered around interaction betweenÂ Frankie and his youngest daughter, Francine (“who was going to be a singer…with a bigger range than me — four-octaves”), in Bye, Bye Baby (Goodbye) and Fallen Angel. Without saying anymore, I will say I did cry. Enough said.
There should be absolutely no wonders as to why Jersey Boys is both a Tony and Grammy Award Winning musical. Hands down, it is a work of theatre-art.
Currently, its first national tour is making its way across the U.S., and you need to go see it or you will live to regret it. That, of which, I can definitely assure you:
Â On a side, and completely unrelated note, Frankie Valli turned 75 on May 3, the night I saw Jersey Boys. Not that you personally care, but I was highly amused by that fact!
Â The show is witty, charming and brings to life the characters just as you could imagine the real people to be. While, I had been excited and enthusiastic about the show, I don’t think I was prepared to be blown-away. But, I was blown away.
Matt Baily is an incredible Tommy DeVito. He creates a character out of a caricature out of a man.Â From his excessively foul mouth, swagger and rude-boy-isms, there is nothing to compare. To say he delivers is an understatement.
Hands down, Josh Franklin has an incredible voice. I loved listening to him sing so much, I checked out his MySpace. He’s one of those singers you can listen to in theatre or out of theatre. As an avid listener of both types of music, and numerous crossover genres, I’m sure Josh can pull a Sarah Brightman or Idina Menzel and crossover flawlessly.
Steve Gouveia. There is nothing much you can say about the man who was a member of the original Broadway cast. Not because he was a bad actor or singer…actually, it is quite the opposite. He was flawless, effortless and seemed to be able to deliver his character with such ease and natural stage presence, there is really nothing more that could be said about perfection. He just nails it.
And of course, I must, must, must talk about Graham Fenton. Gorgeous eyes, gorgeous smile, I could just look at him all day.Â But that’s besides the point. One of the things I noticed the most about him (thank goodness for up-close boxed-seating) were his facial expressions. Graham has a way of conveying emotions like the way the cover of a book conveys a story. When he looks out into the audience, he isn’t playing Frankie Valli, he is, he becomes, Frankie Valli.
Whether you are a fan of Doowop, musicals, oldies, the Four Seasons, the Four Lovers or neither, and just want to experience something entertaining, fun and worthwhile, definitely give Jersey Boys a nod. There is even a mild hats-off to Roy Lichtenstein throughout the show, if you can catch it.
It’s well worth it.
Litte Pink Book’s Rating: Â of 5
Â UPDATE: May 8, 2009
Jersey BoysÂ broke the Broward Center for the Performing Artsâ€™ house record in Fort Lauderdale for the week ending May 3, grossing $1,568,290 and topping the previous record of $1,463,925.
Source: Jersey Boys Blog
UPDATE: June 7/8, 2009
Jersey Boys Tony Awards 2009 Rehersal
Jersey Boys Tony Awards 2009 Performance
Sasha Muradali runs the â€˜Little Pink Book.â€™Â She loves theatre and minored in Dance, together with a B.S. in Public Relations from the University of Florida.