JERSEY BOYS HITS THE STAGE!
I really liked JERSEY BOYS when I first saw it in New York just after it opened. I wasn’t working for the VTA then and I had a show that I was an original producer with opening on Broadway about a month later that was potential competition with JERSEY BOYS (it was a short lived musical based on the songs of Johnny Cash called RING OF FIRE). So, I bought a ticket and on a Sunday afternoon saw “the competition!”
The show hit me like a ton of bricks. It was fast paced, slickly produced, it had those songs, and a really great story. It was the story that surprised me. It was so cleverly and seamlessly interwoven into the songs in a way you could either get involved with that story, or just let the songs stir up all those memories that we of a certain age all have. And the show had such incredible energy that I remember a vibration that went through the audience that just kept coming. I should have known it would be terrific and have a long life as I am quite familiar with Des McAnuff, the show’s director. In fact, I actually worked as a house manager on a show he acted in very early in both our careers.
I also remember that there was some authentic “New Jersey” interaction amongst my fellow audience members. A group of ladies arrived about five minutes after the show had begun and climbed over the people in our row to get to their seats. Some other ladies beside me did not take kindly to the interruption and a few words (“authentic New Jersey language”) were exchanged. At intermission they started up again and the ushers actually had to escort one of the ladies out of the theatre! It added a bit of drama to an already exciting performance.
I know you will like JERSEY BOYS. It is a real crowd pleaser, a terrific tale about a group of guys who, for the most part, overcame a lot of adversity, rose to be music icons, and gave us some totally memorable songs that live on today. Oh, and I hope you get to the show on time—I wouldn’t want any authentic “New Jersey” interactions happening at the Schuster Center.