Friday, October 7, 2011

Oh, What a Night!

Last night I finally went to see the famed Jersey Boys at the August Wilson theater.  I was not anticipating enjoying myself as much as I did.  It took me awhile to see this musical for three reasons:

1) I do not typically like the popular, mainstream attractions of New York, on the theory that there is enough of the Big Apple off-the-radar which gives a more accurate depiction of the city.
2) I am also of the opinion that while one cannot argue that the Four Seasons changed the history of music for many reasons, at the end of the day their sound can be narrowed down to good harmony and a whiny, high-pitched solo which has been played and replayed for decades.
3) I have more respect for musicals which create their own story and music than one which can rely on a storyline and/or songs which has already been made famous over years (see: why I will never see "American Idiot" or "Legally Blonde," and will strongly hesitate before seeing "the Lion King").

That being said, there are several distinguishing aspects about this play that make it worth seeing.  First of all, the theater itself is gorgeous and well kept.  Intricate in its design, it is both grandiose and regal yet accommodating enough so that no matter where one sits he/she has a view of the stage adequate enough to feel in the middle of the drama.

The director cleverly utilizes his stage.  I loved seeing the actors perform with large screen projections above them of either historically appropriate comic strips or recordings of fans from when the band performed.

I also found the well-known scene when the singers' backs are to the audience quite interesting, as I have never been part of an audience watching the audience from the performer's perspective.

With as many reservations as I had, admittedly I am glad I decided to see the show.
Tip: It is not as family-oriented as I thought.  If you are considering bringing your kids, please be mindful that there are a several adult themes as well as language used.

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