Monday, October 5, 2009

In Love With The Boys From Jersey

Playbills may have been handed out, ushers may have walked us to out seats, but I remember going to a concert last night, not a musical. Last night, Linds and I were invited to Jersey Boys at the National Theater.  Written as the history of The Four Seasons, as told from perspective of the group's stars both in their own words, often conflicting versions and the music that sent them to the top of the charts. Never have I been so fully invested in a performance.

Ten minutes in, we were all clapping and dancing along as if we were the 16 year old fanatics they wrote the originals for. Sure, we all knew the words to the songs, but I bet two-thirds of my fellow theater-mates had no idea all those hits were from the same group. The acting was fabulous but what blew me away was last night's lead, Joseph Leo Bwarie, playing Franki Valli. I tell ya' if you put the two of them on a tape - I couldn't tell him from the real thing he was that authentic. So good in fact, the audience was on their feet for the ovation, and we hadn't even finished the second scene. And what Bwarie did for Valli's voice, Matt Bailey did for Tommy Devito's dance moves and New Jersey attitude. And then there's Joe Pesci - who knew he was so involved in the group's inception!?

The directing was as brilliant as the performers. Half the time, the quartet sang to us, the other half, they had our backs to them as we saw the fruits of their fame from their angle, bright lights, cameras, and screaming fans. 

Aside from Rent, this is the only other performance, I can't wait to see again!

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