“Jersey Boys” and “A Minister’s Wife”


The parents came to visit. We had a great time. Dad virtually camped out at Grant Park listening to men sing the blues, while mom, Gator and I checked out Jersey Boys.

Jersey Boys is fun, empty entertainment. Mom, Gator, and everyone around me loved it. Did Bob Gaudio really write all those tunes? Wow – the man is a hit factory. And Jersey Boys does a good job portraying the numbers with a degree of authenticity and flash.

However, I got the impression that Jersey Boys was apologizing for putting a plot into the show, as it may interfere with the number and duration of songs. Book writers Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice and director Des McAnuff keep the show moving at such a fast, lean pace, I felt I didn’t know who any of these guys were at the show’s conclusion. And when Frankie, Nick, Tommy and Bob signed off in the final scene with their “where are they now?” speeches, I felt that I learned more about them then than throughout the course of the whole show. And did anything even happen in act two? One of them has a large debt, they yell “fuck” and “asshole” a lot, and then “Who Loves You”? Or did I miss something.

Oh, that’s right. Frankie’s daughter, whom we are introduced to in act two, dies a mere 10 minutes after we learn he even has a daughter.  FTW??

I also wanted a bigger, flashier finale number. I mean, isn’t a closing megamix the unspoken standard of jukebox musicals? Harrumph.

Still: standing ovation!

****

On Sunday, Jamie and I headed up to the serene, green land known as Glencoe, IL to see the world premiere of A Minister’s Wife. I’m reviewing the show for edgechicago.com, so I don’t want to give too much away, but, suffice it to say, it was the antitheses of Jersey Boys: An enchanting musical based on the George Bernard Shaw play Candida, with a lilting score by relative newcomer Joshua Schmidt (who wrote The Adding Machine.)

Review on that to come…

minister's wife
Kevin Gudahl and Kate Fry in “A Minister’s Wife”

5 thoughts on ““Jersey Boys” and “A Minister’s Wife”

  1. Sorry that I missed a casual mention of his daughter in act one. If I had noticed, I would have been more invested in his daughter.

    (I’m being sarcastic, BTW)

  2. Haha love the casual reply!

    Revisiting your reviews in late of my mouth-foaming excitement over the Vegas show.

    Your points are well-taken; yet, I found myself leaping up to start the standing O in Vegas.

    I think I’m sometimes so impressed by the heroism and focus of some of the actors I see that I don’t look at the content of the shows with as critical an eye as you do.

    I like to think it’s my trademark as a reviewer – the “girl who worships great actors and what they’re up to.” I liked the story plenty, I liked the music a lot, and the performers in Vegas? Top-notch.

    1. My EDGE review of JB is much more positive (see the Review tab at the top of this blog). I benefited seeing it a second time.

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