Maureen and I once had a solid come-to-Jesus about our top three shows of all time. We challenged ourselves to pick an official, “if you had to put it on a laminated card,” order (which, let me tell you, took hours for us to each settle on). We took that gauntlet very seriously.
Today I am here to put mine on record. Jersey Boys is my number one. This show is full of energy, insane talent and will keep you engaged from start to finish. Throughout the evening you follow the rich, biographical story of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons. And by the way, it’s the best jukebox ever written. The show features over 30 beautifully written tunes that will get your shoulders a-twitchen, including “Sherry,” “Big Girls Don’t Cry” and “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You.”
My heart was full of joy watching the reaction of the Baby Boomers in the crowd. These were the songs of their era, and for a few hours they were transported back to a special time in their lives. I even saw a few crying while simultaneously smiling and clapping as they doo-wopped to their favorite melodies. But that doesn’t mean that our fellow Millennials were not also swooning in equal measure. And for a show to be able to do that is something special.
The song catalog was not overshadowed by a flashy, over-the-top stage. In fact, it’s all very simple. The storyline is enough to carry itself without elaborate props. But let’s not forget that it was the ’60s after all. That means mock turtlenecks, corduroy suits and of course, sequins. Production could not have gotten it even more perfect.
Let us conclude in raving about the impeccable Jersey Boys cast. Their talent made the crowd forget we weren’t watching the real Tommy DeVito, Nick Massi, Bob Gaudio and, of course, the honey-voiced Frankie Valli. You also get this special feeling that the crew is extremely humbled and honored to be representing one of the most loved groups in American history.
Who loves you pretty baby? We certainly do, right along with 20 other million people who have seen the show worldwide. You can see the show at the Minneapolis Orpheum today through Sunday, May 3rd. Go to www.hennepintheatretrust.org to get your tickets.