Monday, October 31, 2005

What is it about Jersey Boys?

For Birthday Eve on Thursday, my mother and grandmother met me in the city after work, for Mojitos and delicious Cuban food at Victor's Cafe, and then a Broadway show. The decision on which show to see was made based on what I would thought they would enjoy, and the fact that my dad filled our household with "Oldies," so I know almost every word. Thus, we ended up going to see Jersey Boys. Oh yeah, and it has Jersey in the title, which didn't hurt.

After the show, my first reaction, as I was leaving the theater, was awe. I mean, jaw dropping, speechless, astonishment... But not at the show, what amazed me most was the emotional reaction of the audience. They went crazy over it.

Jersey Boys, in case you were wondering, is a musical based on the rise of Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons. With hits like Oh What a Night, Earth Angel, (Who Wears) Short Shorts, Walk like a Man, and Can't Take My Eyes Off of You, how could you not enjoy the tunes? But this response was something way beyond that. I think many of the audience members must have been relating the songs to specific times and situations in their lives. And as much as I loved the songs, I hadn't lived them, so it felt in a way like I was at a fraternity reunion for a frat to which I never belonged.

Within the first five minutes, my mom was almost in tears when the song Silhouettes chimed in. At that point, I was just busy trying to ignore the woman behind me, who was already singing along, and the early technical issues, including a fence being dropped on a moving drumset. But when that song began, my mom's eyes started to fill, and in a hushed quivering voice, she whispered, "this was my song with my grammar school boyfriend... The one who ended up being gay."

When I brought up Silhouettes after the show in the parking lot, she again mentioned the grade-school beau. "8th grade," she said, "My first kiss on the lips. Playing spin the bottle. My first dance partner. He was a great dancer." Um, hello? Earth to Mother Jersey... Your "dance partner?" Perhaps there were some early signs that he was gay, after all.

Overall, I did enjoy the show though. The songs were great, the actors were talented, and I enjoyed the Jersey references, but l found the large Lichtenstein-esque cartoons on the overhead screens to be distracting, and some of the scenes dragged a bit. I kept thinking, "alright already, I'm ready for the next song." And when I got home and thought, "Oh what a night," it was more about the company than the show... but that's more important in my book anyway.

So, anybody seen any great shows recently? Or feel like commenting on songs bringing back vivid memories of place and time?
posted by Danielle @ 1:03 AM |

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