I Heart Frankie Valli
I was possibly one of the youngest people at Saturday’s matinee of Jersey Boys, but I shouldn’t have been. So fun! And I went a little reluctantly. First, it was gorgeously sunny on Saturday afternoon and I was tempted to linger on Westminster instead of heading into a dark theater. Second, I’m not a huge fan of musicals. I do like Guys and Dolls: “I’ve got the horse right here, his name is Paul Revere.” Snappy! But that masked-phantom-on-a-gondola business, forget it. I am all set.
However, it was my mother’s birthday, and she really wanted to go, and I like the Four Seasons. (It’s possible that I once choreographed a rollerskating routine to their 1966 hit “Working My Way Back to You” when I was a kid and that this routine consisted of me pointing and skating back and forth to absolutely no one, but that’s neither here nor there.)
As it turned out, Jersey Boys is less musical than music-packed biography, the story of how the Four Seasons made it from depressing bowling alley gigs to The Ed Sullivan Show. (And I mean depressing. Like, there was an ape costume involved.) As much as I love a good rags-to-riches story, the very neat part of the show is getting the behind-the-scenes of the songs. Their breakthrough hit, “Sherry,” was one of those almost-didn’t-happen fluke things. “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You” was dismissed by every producer in town as a total waste of time. Why is that always the way? (FYI, I have never in my life seen a mid-show standing ovation, which lead Joseph Leo Bwarie received after this solo.)
I can see why the audience was on cloud nine leaving the theater. People were still bopping around out on the sidewalk. I’m jealous of those of you who haven’t seen it yet. You’ll love it. Have fun.