Movie time
D.G. Kaye,  Fun stuff,  Review

Musical Review: – Jersey Boys and Some Observations

Something a little different for me here, reviewing a play – Jersey Boys, instead of a book.

 

Last Saturday, my husband and I went to a play together – something we’ve never done together. I love going to plays and musicals, and those events are usually reserved for girlfriend time. My hub is much happier watching sports.

 

My husband’s brother called us when we returned from our holiday to say hello, but he also express great enthusiasm for a play his children bought him tickets to go see – the Jersey Boys. His kids knew he would love it because of the era of music, and he surely did. He loved it so much he wanted his brother to go see the musical with me and sent us a pair of tickets! He urged me to pull up some videos of the play on Youtube to show my hub clips of the music. I knew my hub would be curious to go and could almost rest assured that he wouldn’t fall asleep while watching – the reason we don’t normally go to plays together, lol.

We took the subway down and walked half a block to the theater. It turned out to be a freezing cold windy and snowy day as a prank reminder that Mother Nature was not yet done with winter in our city. I was thrilled to actually be going with my husband despite that era of music which is not my most favorite genre, and boy, did I get a surprise.

We arrived in our seats approximately 20 minutes before the show began. While waiting I was surveying the layout of the theater and thought to myself how expensive the seats are considering the width of the seats felt tighter than an airplane, there were no cup holders for expensive drinks,  and I took notice that every 2 rows were raised a tiny bit higher than the previous rows to aid in viewing But I knew I wasn’t going to be able to see because the increments in raised levels was unremarkable.

Sure enough, the giraffe and the tall lady with the humongous hair sat right in front of me. ‘Nuff said.

The show was fabulous! There were some terrific talent in that cast – both singing and acting. I thoroughly enjoyed the story of Frankie Valli’s life leading to the formation of the group, the Four Seasons and beyond. The story was a well written mini biography of the persistence of Valli to keep his band together despite the many pitfalls they endured, the original members’ backgrounds, friendships, relationships, and how the lyrics for their songs came to be. This band along with so many who strive to make it in the music world, took a lot of lumps along their way to stardom, and the many pitfalls of fame when it comes too fast.

The artists’ struggle took me back to the days when I too was a struggling singer with aspirations of ‘making it’, and in those days, the music industry wasn’t big in Toronto. Like the old adage reminds – it’s not how good you are, but who you know. I didn’t know the right people, and often one hopeful meeting led to another when ultimately, I was faced with some shady characters. That’s when I gave up pursuing my dream, but Valli endured toward his own.

The music was fabulous, but as a writer, I’m always drawn to story line. and I thought the show had some great writing for the story to be told through music and words. As we continued to watch, clap along, and sing in our chairs, I scanned the room in preparation for intermission – when I planned to move so I could actually see the play without crooking my neck. We crossed over to an empty row one section over and the second half of the play was much more enjoyable.

I loved the way the scenes were set up into seasons: Spring was the beginning of the group, summer were their heydays. fall was the beginning of problems surfacing, personally and monetarily, and winter was the calm – the breaking up of the original group and Valli making it on his own with a new band. Courage, persistence, and luck brought Valli to fame at a young age. And despite finally reaching fame, as is common with young artists, nobody was really minding the shop – the business side of being a performer, just like the marketing and self-publishing a writer must add to their repertoire. Four guys started a band, worked for peanuts, slept in dives. did menial side jobs on the side to survive the lean times. One was a tough guy-mobster wannabe, but he made all the gig connections and brought the group to fame.  There were relationship problems at their homefronts and behind the stage, and they all had their demons. It reminded how much artists struggle to reach that pinnacle of fame. The show was an entertaining inside look into the making of a musical legend and the pitfalls and highlights along the way. I’m so glad we went.

We rode the subway home. I couldn’t get over how crowded the trains were at 5pm on a Saturday, reminding me just how crowded our city is, not just on the roads. We stepped into the train and hung on to the hand strap, squashed in a crowd. Three stops later, a woman stood up to leave and I held her seat for my husband. An Asian woman sitting beside him was preoccupied on her mobile phone but took a moment to look up at me and did a hand signal language,. asking if I’d like her seat.  She didn’t look much younger than I am and I couldn’t decide in that moment if I was flattered she’d offered or if I looked old enough for her to feel I needed the seat.. But maybe I think too much. I was grateful to learn that there were still courteous people around either way. I smiled in appreciation, and signaled to her I was fine.

It was a good day.

 

I found this clip of the British cast with a segment of the play on Youtube:

 

 

 

Follow Me on Social Media!
Name: D.G. Kaye job Title: Author Business: DGKayewriter.com Image: https://dgkayewriter.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/Bitmo-popcorn.png Facebook Url: Facebook Twitter Url: Twitter Instagram Url: Instagram LinkedIn Url: LinkedIn Pinterest Url: Pinterest

D.G. Kaye is a nonfiction/memoir writer, who writes from her own life experiences and self-medicates with a daily dose of humor.

25 Comments

  • Mabel Kwong

    I’ve heard so much about the play Jersey Boys. It sounded like you and your husband had a great time – eventhough a giraffe and person with tall hair sat in front of you lol. Interesting to hear seasons were a part of the narrative. Sounds like a story many of us can relate to in some way. So lovely afterwards people offered seats on the train to you and your husband 🙂

    • dgkaye

      Hi Mabel. Thanks for visiting. Yes, so glad we went. It wouldn’t have been my first choice for a play, but as it turns out, we had a great time. 😉 x

  • Norah Colvin

    I’m so envious you got to see this, Debby. It was here earlier this year and I was hoping to go with Hub and some friends but we just couldn’t manage it in the short time it was here. The music is our era and I would have loved it. Hub doesn’t much like to go to live shows though and it is an excuse to drag him along when we go with friends, so sad to miss this opportunity.

    • dgkaye

      Oh, sorry you missed it Norah. But I’m sure it will come back again as it has here many times through the years. Isn’t it funny how we must find ways to get our ‘husband/children’ to participate. LOL 🙂 x

  • Joy Lennick

    Pleased to hear you enjoyed the show so much, Debbie. I miss the London theatre as Eric and I used to go a fair amount when living in the UK (Like your husband, mine is happy to watch sport on TV!) But he is now 90….(mentally 40 fortunately) drives like Stirling Moss, shops and cooks….Some of the stage stars in your video have featured on UKs “Strictly Dancing” TV programme – which I love… Hugs xx

  • Annika Perry

    Yay! A fabulous evening for you all and you’ve written about it here with heart and interest. I recently saw the Jersey Boys in London and loved it – luckily had a good view the whole time! The story is exciting, tense at times and the music amazing. I didn’t know most of the songs beforehand but couldn’t stop humming them afterward! It was fascinating how you brought your own personal reflections to the post. I can just imagine you up there!

    • dgkaye

      Lol, thanks Annika. I was really surprised at how engaged I was since it would never have been my first pick for a play, but I wanted my husband to enjoy the experience. Turned out to be a two for one on the enjoyment front. 🙂 x

  • sally cronin

    Sounds amazing Debby.. glad you managed to see the second half from a better vantage point.. I know what you mean about those seats and usually the leg room is dreadful.. But sounds like one to go and see. I have not been to a musical since Miss Saigon.. sat behind four school girls who had clearly been before and who burst into tears at least five minutes before the sad bits which was a bit of a give away!!! Lovely review.. ♥♥

    • dgkaye

      Hi Sal. Wow, I was surprised to hear you haven’t been to a play since your ‘spoiler alert’ show you encountered at Miss Saigon. I would have been sure Sally the music loving gal had been to more plays than myself, lol. I think you would really enjoy this play Sal. In future, for the prices they charge, yes with no legroom either, I think I’ll go back up to mezzanine, a bit higher up but easier to look down lol <3 xx

  • John Maberry

    Been a long time since we’ve been to one too. I remember Valli and the Four Seasons. Sounds like fun. Last one we saw was Othello at the Shakespeare Folger Teatre in DC with Avery Brooks starring as Othello.

  • Hilary

    Hi Debby – well what a fun post … and you obviously both had a lovely time – so pleased you could take what I call the tube down! I don’t usually watch the Palladium shows … but so glad you put the clip up, which I watched through … foot-tapping to see!! I have that problem when I go to the film society films … I usually have to move as I can’t see – people sit in my sightline – really irritating!!!! Cheers Hilary

    • dgkaye

      Hi Hilary! So glad you enjoyed the clip I showed of the British version. Yes, I used to have the same problem when I went to the movies. It can be annoying when we’re vertically challenged LOL 🙂 xx

  • Stevie Turner

    Ooh – haven’t seen this one. It sounds good – I like The Four Seasons’ music. Your blog reminded me of the day Sam and I went to see a London show, and I sat behind a man who was clearly the tallest one in the theatre. I’m 5ft 3″ and I think he was about 6 ft 5″. Isn’t it annoying!

    • dgkaye

      Lol, so not surprised we’re both 5 3″, okay, so I shrunk 1/2 an inch according to my doctor LOL. We would definitely plan seating strategically together. Yes, you should go!!!! 🙂

  • Hugh Roberts

    I saw ‘Jersey Boy’s many years ago in London’s Westend. I wasn’t keen to go, but I’m so glad I did. I really enjoyed the performance and learning all about the story of the band. The show was such a huge success and went on to be played for many years in the same theatre in London. Back then, tickets were reasonably priced, but these days seats can be over £100 each. It can become an expensive night out.

    I remember, too, how when we went to see the show ‘Chicago’, people from the show ‘Land of the Giants’ sat right in front of us! I thought it only ever happened to me. I’m sure the woman sat in front of me was wearing one of those huge wigs from 18th century France.

    Good to hear that somebody offered you their seat. I think she did it because she wanted you to sit next to hubby, Debby.

    • dgkaye

      Thanks for sharing your experience Hugh. Oh yes, it’s an expensive treat to go to a play, so I’m happy it was worth it. And maybe you are right about the seat. I’m getting real self-conscious about aging, lol. Like when I go to the pharmacy on senior’s day and ask for the discount and they give it to me without asking for I.D. (of which I am currently not even a senior!) LOL 🙂 <3

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: