Things that I did notice... "Short Shorts" was definitely cut short - the dancers literally had to RUN across the landing before Bob starts his speech. One verse of "My Boyfriend's Back" was definitely cut... People RUN on and off the stage, up and down those stairs unlike the hurried walk in the full length version. I felt Act I was really rushed (but maybe it's because I just saw the broadway company recently and it really felt like everyone in this cast was running on and off the stage.) By the second performance I think I got used to it a bit more. I know that I'll go back to NY, see the full length version and feel like it's dragging now. ;)
- Travis Cloer was Frankie during the 6:30pm show and, I have to say, his voice was gorgeous! We were sitting in the total nose-bleed seats for the first show and it was hard to see anyone's expressions so it was difficult for me to rate his acting. I did notice, on the video screen during both the American Bandstand and the Ed Sullivan segments, I didn't really get too much from his performance - visually. But, as I've mentioned earlier, vocally he sounded gorgeous!
- Rick Faugno was Frankie at the 9:30pm show and his performance was really one of the better ones I've seen recently. Dramatically, I think he's one of the stronger Frankie's that I've seen. Mark & I saw Rick once before (as Chris Jones' alternate at the Ahmanson in LA) and we enjoyed his performance then, but I have to say... he's really grown a lot in the role. We had MUCH better seats for the 9:30pm show and I was glad I was able to see everyone's expressions because Rick was heartbreaking in "Fallen Angel." So far I've seen 6 actors play Frankie (Chris Jones, Rick, Michael Longoria, Dominic Scaglione, Cory Grant, and Travis Cloer) and I honestly think that, taking everything into consideration (acting, singing, dancing) Rick is my favorite Frankie so far (though I LOVE Chris Jones... I think Rick has a stronger voice...)
- Drew Gehling (Bob Gaudio) - I'm sorry, though I really enjoyed Drew's portrayal, I still think my favorite Gaudio is Erich. Erich had just enough cockiness to make the character really work and still be quite likable. Sabastian was a little too much of a "nice guy" Gaudio, didn't really have that little bit of endearing cockiness that Erich brought to the role to make it funny, and likable at the same time. Drew kind of rushed through a lot of the lines (which might be due to time constraints) but his final monologue, felt a little to rushed... Loved Erich's last, "....without me." Just enough cockiness in his demeanor and voice... LOVED it.
- Deven May (Tommy DeVito) - My favorite Tommy,... BY FAR! His comedic timing is just leagues beyond anyone I'd seen on Broadway (I've really only seen two others - Christian Hoff and Dominic Nolfi.) There is just something unparalleled about Deven's comedic timing that makes him the most hilarious (and most likable) Tommy DeVito. I know I've mentioned this before, but the delivery of his, "It's because you're paying us...SHIT!" is absolutely hysterical! The way he leans into the mic so that his "SHIT" echoes is hysterical... None of the Tommys have ever done that. And his "...fine, buy me out" funniest damn Tommy - EVER! LOVED seeing him again. :)
- Jeff Leibow (Nick Massi): I really liked Jeff! In fact, aside from the fact that Michael Ingersoll was adorable and played Nick with a cuter, softer edge, I think that Jeff is my favorite Nick... possibly ever. I love the delivery of his lines - especially his monologue about his children. My former Nicki Massi experience was Matt Bogart who delivered the line in such a way that caused the audience to laugh... not the desired reaction at all... Jeff gave Nick the perfect mix being of a little eccentric, but didn't play Nick as a big oaf, like Matt did. I've seen 6 different Nicks (Michael Ingersoll, Steve Gouveia, J. Robert Spencer, John Leone, and now Jeff) and I really do think my favorite is Jeff - he just has the perfect mix of quirkiness, but manages to give Nick a sort of dignity, but as Mark said, no one does the head slamming on the desk better than Michael Ingersoll. :)
As soon as we got out of the 6:30pm show, we literally had to turn right back around to stand in line for the 9:30pm show. There was no down time or anything... It was exhausting just watching the two shows, I can't imagine what it must be like for the cast!
After the show we stayed behind a bit and got to see Rick. He either has the world's greatest memory (or he's just a really polite person) but he said he remembered meeting me in LA at the Ahmanson Theatre when he was with the tour. He remembered that I was from Hawaii, too. He was incredibly sweet.
I'm glad we got to see the Vegas cast and two different Frankies - now I need to go back to NY and see the broadway cast with Jarrod... and then I think I'll be good - Jersey Boys - wise. :)