I think it would be a gross understatement to say that Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons played a big part in my life. Truth to be told, they played a HUGE role. Born in the mid-60's the iconic music of The Four Seasons was consistently a part of my life from the time I was a little girl and well into my adult life. I grew up listening to my mom's Four Season LP Albums, and memorizing the words to songs like Sherry, Ragdoll and Big Girls Don't Cry while staring at the pictures of Frankie, Bob, Tommy and Nick on the album covers. I owned the 45's (yes kids, these were the days before mp3 players) of the group's new hits, Oh What A Night and Who Loves You, and remember playing both of these songs on the juke boxes in the diner and at the bowling alley back in the '70's! (now I'm really dating myself).
There we were, 11th row, center orchestra and as "Bob Gaudio" himself says in the show, "the whole world exploded." There is nothing more I can say about the music, because it has all been said. But, I would like to emphasize just how amazing the orchestra and arrangements were and the way in which the songs were weaved into the story. Acting-wise, you couldn't have had a more perfect foursome to play the leads. John Lloyd Young as Frankie Valli was perfectly cast and his voice just soared through the theatre mezmorizing the audience as he captured the inflections and high notes that are synonymous with Frankie Valli's voice. There were two aspects of the show that were most memorable and impressive to me. The first was the creative use of staging and lighting affects throughout the performance, namely, the way in which the audience is made to feel that they are "backstage", viewing the group from behind during a show performance in one of the scenes. I thought this was brilliant. The other was when the amazing horn section blows above Frankie's character when he belts out Can't Take My Eyes Off of You. I got chills! Throughout this show, I laughed, I cried, I sang along, and mostly, I knew I wanted to see this Jersey Boys again, and I promised myself I would. I also left the theatre wanting everyone I knew to experience what I had that Sunday afternoon in December 2005.
After the show, I dragged Tedd and Rebecca to stand outside in the bitter cold, at the stage door of the August Wilson Theatre. Yes, I am one of those nuts who hangs around the stage door after a Broadway performance, and the freezing temperatures and wind of a December evening were not going to disuade me from doing so at this show. (Mind you, I have every playbill for every show I've ever seen in a huge box, along with ticket stubs and autographs that garner them!) This would be yet another for my valuable collection! Each cast member was more friendly than the next and humbled to be greeted. John Lloyd Young was adorable and friendly at the stage door and seemed just as awestruck about being the lead in this new show as the fans were about seeing it. Interacting with the cast members was a perfect ending to a great performance.