Last night, the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts was an interesting mix of entertainment.
In the Pugh Theater was high opera with “Tales of Hoffman” done in Steampunk style.
In the Disney Theater was Broadway’s best, “Jersey Boys,” the story of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons. This Tony and Grammy Award “Best Musical” has been a favorite with audiences for almost 20 years and this production was no exception. All 2,700 seats were filled.
I have seen Jersey Boys four times in the past few years to support local Orlando boy, Drew Seeley, who was playing the role of Bob Gaudio. Last night’s cast was strong and just as much fun as ever…well worth the price of a ticket.
Johnny Wexler, who played Frankie Valli, gave the story of these four men his heart and soul. His voice was remarkable with the ability to change flawlessly into an authentic Valli style.
In many ways the audience became the stars of this show. How they responded to the music was electrifying. I met people who have seen it almost a dozen times.
There is a dialogue in the show that explains it best. The Four Seasons were talking about the British invasion (The Beatles) and decided not to worry about them. They realized that their music for was for the everyday American people; the guy who pumps your gas; the girl at the doughnut counter; and the barber who cuts your hair.
More than 50 years later, Americans still sing those songs. And yes, without Joe Peschi the group would never had happened (true story).