[Despite have the same title, this post has nothing to do with my previous posting about the Big Guy's ER visit. It's a much better title for this post! Sorry if that's confusing!]
Last night I visited heaven. Or at least one facet of what heaven should be. In fact, if it were actually what heaven is, I wouldn't be quite so reluctant to get there!
No, I didn't have an out of body experience or anything life threatening. I'm just fine, thank you. Nope, the heaven I visited was on the stage at UT-Austin; it was one of their Broadway America (I think) shows. It was the Broadway touring company of "Jersey Boys"!!
Some of you may not be familiar with the show, "Jersey Boys", but I'd be willing to bet that if you're over 45 or so, "Oh What a Night" should instantly bring to mind those "Jersey Boys". If not, how about "Walk Like a Man", "Stay", "Sherry". "My Eyes Adored You"? Still no?? "Big Girls Don't Cry"? That's right, it's Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons!!
Oh. My. God. Totally and Completely wonderful!! No wonder it won several Tonys! It was one of the very best shows I have ever seen, really....and I've seen a LOT of shows.
The four young men playing Frankie Valli, Tommy DiVito, Bob Gaudio, and Nick Massi had the look, had the moves, had the lure of the original Four Seasons. But most importantly, they had the SOUND! No one can actually duplicate someone else's voice exactly, but they were so close it was unbelievable. The show included all of my favorite Four Seasons songs, plus some I'd forgotten were theirs. The group had a string of Top Ten hits, including many #1 slots on the charts, one after another! Most of them were in the show.
The show tells the story of how the group came together, found their sound, and got where they were....with all the foibles and problems along the way. It wasn't an easy ride for those guys every minute. They encountered some very real obstacles and the show shared those as well as the good stuff. The show is well-written and moves like a speeding bullet, from great one hit to the next. I can't tell you what a delight it was. If you haven't seen it, don't pass up the opportunity if it comes your way.
The cast of this company was outstanding, whoever did the casting, did a great job. The actor playing Frankie Valli, Joseph Leo Bwarie, looked a lot like him and sounded a lot like him. In fact, I thought his voice was a tiny bit better than Valli's. (Valli has a little bit of a nasal quality, but Bwarie has a more melodious voice.)
The Four Seasons hit the "big time" in 1962 when I was 15 years old. Frankie Valli has been around ever since. Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons made music back then that helped define my generation and me. Last night I wanted to sing. I wanted to dance. I wanted to cry. Most of all I wanted to be 15 again, when life was mostly still ahead and the possibilities were endless.
Hearing those songs again last night was heaven all right! "Jersey Boys" who made good in the best possible way. "Oh, What a Night!"