Last week, while on a business trip in Vegas, I saw the musical Jersey Boys for the first time.
I will definitely go again.
Show tickets were a gift from the boss.
I took the responsibility of selecting the venue.
We could’ve gone to any play, but the allure of the music of Frankie Valli and the 4 Seasons was too great to pass up.
When we first arrived I noticed videos playing over and over on flat screens in the lobby…scenes from the show.
I never saw actors that looked exactly like Frankie, but I was hopeful they would sound like him.
I wasn’t disappointed.
The artist who played Frankie Valli in the version we saw was Travis Cloer.
His cover of the Valli voice was so good it was almost difficult to believe he wasn’t lip-syncing originals.
I can assure you, he and the group weren’t faking…canned music can’t electrify a crowd like Travis and his mates did.
Speaking of mates, the other character who impressed me was Australian Peter Saide, who played Bob Gaudio, the tall/talented song writer of the group.
Peter Is also half-Lebanese and looked like my son Luke.
From the moment he stepped into the spotlight, his persona, just like in real life with Gaudio’s skills, sent the Jersey Boys into orbit.
I had a hard time keeping my feet from moving and eyes from welling up with memories of my childhood.
The first time I heard Sherry Baby I was around four years old and had just slept over cousins Georgie and Ricky’s.
Ricky played the 45 on a tiny record player.
All I could think about was my other little cousin Sherry, a baby at the time…I felt they wrote it for me to sing to her.
Each song tugged on a heart string from my past and I didn’t want the show to end.
It’s a bit ironic the hit song Swearin’ to God was not in the play.
The only controversy surrounding Jersey Boys is the foul language.
I read comments online from people who attended the show in New York and elsewhere…at least half who commented were upset with the repeated use of the “F” word.
I can understand their concern, especially if they had children with them.
First of all, when going to a Broadway show, it’s our responsibility to determine the age appropriate nature; there are no movie ratings.
I saw no children at this Friday night showing, which to me meant they’d lost themselves a few sales.
Yes, even in Vegas, parents won’t pay to have their kids hear the “F” word.
The house wasn’t full…we even bought balcony seats and were moved downstairs as a courtesy.
Here’s what was interesting about the barbs going back and forth in the Yahoo commentary I read.
Each person, pro and con, had the right to endorse or criticize the show.
The argument from those who didn’t mind the language was that “real” North Jersey boys talked that way and those offended were being prudish and unrealistic.
The argument from those who disliked the language was that they saw no benefit to the production and only wanted to share the great show with their kids, but couldn’t.
The losers here are actually the investors in the show, not to mention the kids who can’t go.
They’re the ones losing sales by excluding an important demographic, i.e. young families with children old enough to sit through a two-hour venue…there are quite a few.
Our language is a personal choice, and like most Christians I do my best to keep it clean.
When I fail though, it’s my bottom line that suffers, no one else’s, unless I do it in front of a child, who then might mimic my behavior.
Then the curse becomes a double curse.
The gripe that parents have about foul language is never because they themselves haven’t heard it, it’s because they want their kids to enjoy something too.
If they bring their kids…then what?
Should Jersey Boys change the show and rewrite a G-rated version, at least for matinees perhaps?
That’s a decision for the writers and investors.
Will they sell more tickets?
Since the show’s in Vegas, you can put money on it.