Yesterday afternoon, I headed to the Ahmanson Theatre to see Jersey Boys and OH MY GOODNESS... it was truly one of the better shows that I've ever seen! For those who think that it's just a "jukebox musical" - think again... This show has one of the strongest books I've seen in a long time!!
The musical, of course, is the true life story of the Four Seasons and the story of four men, who grew up on the wrong side of the tracks in New Jersey and their rise to fame (and struggles along the way.) The musical numbers woven into the show were done masterfully - as performance pieces - not at all trying to use the songs to tell the story of the group. Sometimes musicals of this nature are tiresome when the songs are used to speak for the characters - but thankfully Jersey Boys stays away from that.
The book is so masterfully written, the choreography so perfect, the staging so innovative, and the music so artfully placed that it builds the show to such an emotionally charged level that by the end, you don't even realize what a hold the show has on you until you're on your feet cheering at the end. I admit I was a bit surprised when I found myself screaming my lungs out at the end for four men who I knew absolutely nothing about when the show first began, but who I grew to care about at the end of the show. I think that's truly the mark of a great musical.
The cast was incredible: Deven May as Tommy DeVito (the one who got the whole group started), Christopher Kale Jones (who was born and raised in Hawaii!!) as Frankie Valli, Erich Bergen as songwriter Bob Gaudio (my personal favorite in the entire cast!!), and Michael Ingersoll as Nick Massi (the "Ringo" of the group) ;).
I admit that I was a bit skeptical going in... Usually shows that receive a lot of hype, I'm not really into seeing - hence my hesitation with seeing anything Producers or Phantom related for years (but I will see Phantom to see Kristi, of course!!). But this show is so heartfelt and amazing that I couldn't help but love it.
And I was supposed to see The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee yesterday evening, but a combination of three things prevented me from making it there... The first being that the traffic was just INCREDIBLY bad yesterday, the second being that the evening show began at 6:30pm and not 7pm and there was VERY little time to get from the Ahmanson to the Wadsworth, and third - ending my theatre weekend on a Jersey Boys note was probably the best way to end it anyway...
I'm off to pack up my things and prepare to head home. My thanks to everyone who has taken the time to read through all my theatre ramblings this weekend. It was SUCH a lovely weekend - it almost makes me ready to face the horror of my job on Tuesday... hold on... don't get too excited, I said "almost!" ;)