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…
Kevin Gudahl and Kate Fry in “A Minister’s Wife”