Sunday, April 22, 2012

Big Girls Don't Cry

There's something about live Musical Theatre that always means it will forever be one of my favourite forms of entertainment. Maybe is was being brought up with an appreciation of this art form, maybe because of my own (very novice) attempts at stage performance. If I was to be born again with the ability to choose attributes, having an amazing singing voice would come a close second to having a body like Heidi Klum. And I would probably strut that amazing voice out on a Musical Theatre stage.
I had bought tickets for my parents to see Jersey Boys for Christmas last year  - and one for myself of course - mainly because I was confident that it would be one they would absolutely love. (My father admitted at half time he had been dubious about it, but he gave me one of those super-squeezy hugs at the end and so knew I was right) But I myself did not envisage loving it as much as I did.
My personal taste in music is generally contemporary, and pretty varied. I can be attracted by a strong melody, a quality vocal and frequently, a rocking guitar. You wouldn't find me playing hits of the 70s or 80s, or reminiscing by repeatedly playing greatest hits albums. That said sadly, in my 'advancing years', my musical appreciation does not stretch to all genres, as I often admit to my nephew, who fronts a metal band. The guitar, yes, the vocal, not so much. Sorry David.
But I digress. The reason I did not expect to enjoy Jersey Boys so much is because the music of Frankie Valli and/or the Four Seasons is not of any of my 'eras' (unless you could the title track from the original Grease movie, which was indeed not even a song from the original Grease musical) I would not really choose to listen to Sherry Baby, or Walk Like a Man... though I must admit to liking Oh What A Night - mainly because I always comment that I was conceived late December back in '63 lol.
But I was totally sucked in by the music in this format.

The appeal came from a total appreciation of the harmonies and blending of the voices. Just beautiful. That and the slick choreography, which was clean, simple, and perfectly in unison. Added to the musical enjoyment was an interesting story, cleverly told from the 'seasonal' perspective of each of the members of the original Four Seasons. I also found myself falling a little bit in love with Bob Gaudio, or was that the guy who played him? Whichever way his character was the one who most interested me, and Declan Egan was certainly easy on the eye (and ears).

The only disappointment for me would be buying a $20 programme (as I always do) to find all the photos are from the original Australian cast, not the one we saw today in Auckland. I thought the cast was great and deserved the recognition. So I found the interview they did on our Good Morning programme earlier in the year. And one that featured Frankie Valli himself, on his recent trip here to perform. Couldn't find any video footage of the actual show either - funny that - but here's a clip of a montage to the song they did as the finale.
And the significance of the title? I refer back to my opening paragraph. I love the live theatre experience. The energy and emotion that emanates from the stage often 'moves' me. And move me today it did - I got tears during the song of which this post bears the title!

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