Sunday, May 4, 2008

What A Night: The Jersey Boys Premiere

Click above to watch the special VIDEO edition of "The Strip" or right-click here to download it.


Over the years, going to Vegas functions has become more of a chore than a pleasure. My partner's dislike of the social scene has spilled over on to me; I'd rather be home with Miles, a movie and my dogs on most occasions. It does become all the same people having all the same chatter, and these things become a minefield for me in which people come up to me expecting to be remembered. I have one of the world's worst memories for faces and names, so it's embarrassing.

That said, last night's Jersey Boys premiere was one of the best times I've had. While I liked the show when we saw it for the first time last month, I inexplicably adored it last night. I can't tell if that's because I've been studying up on the music and over the past week interviewed Frankie Valli and Bob Gaudio as well as Erich Bergen who plays Gaudio. But at the end when the on-stage Frankie spoke of original member Nick Massi's death, I got mildly choked up. (The Bergen-Gaudio interview will appear on this week's epsiode of "The Strip." It's unclear yet whether I can air the Valli conversation, which is the basis for a print story I'm writing today.)

As always, the night began with a red carpet parade I observed but did not participate in. Here's Frankie Valli himself, followed by actor John Cleese and then Las Vegas Sands CEO Sheldon Adelson with his wife, Miriam...

Click on any photo below to expand it




And here's KVBC entertainment reporter (and former Mrs. Nevada) Alicia Jacobs interviewing her date, American Idol producer Nigel Lythgoe, who sported a wrist in a cast he joked came from punching Simon Cowell. Would that that were true...


At the end of the show, there was a tribute to the surviving original Four Seasons, Frankie Valli, Bob Gaudio and Tommy DeVito, as well as their longtime producer, Bob Crewe. You can't really see it that well here, but you can watch the tribute on the SPECIAL VIDEO EDITION of "The Strip" by clicking here or right-clicking here to download it for later viewing.


Walking out, I ran into Rita Rudner, who is scheduled to be a guest again on "The Strip" at the end of May once I read her new book. Here she is with her husband, Martin.


A few days ago, some friends went to see the show and one text-messaged me during the show's eight-minute intermission to rave about it and also to pass along her boyfriend's prediction that they would drop the cursing from the script within a few months. It was a strange notion seeing how Vegas is NOT know for being timid in its entertainment in general and the coarse language is part of the Jersey authenticity of it all. And then I saw this sign on the way out which pretty much proved to me that they won't ever touch the script:


If you can't read it, it says: "Jersey Boys contains smoke, gun shots, strobe lights, authentic Jersey language and is not recommended for children under the age of 12." That takes care of THAT.

The party was quite a creative endeavor. Here's the entrance...


...and the first thing you saw was "Jersey Boys" spelled out in 7-foot letters across the room...


The room was lined with antique cars adorned by pretty dancing girls in 1950s attire (or vice versa?). There were placards explaining what each car was, but it didn't seem like most people knew they could go up on the platforms and look closer.


As always, the food was insane. Little burgers and meatloaf, other odd stuff I couldn't identify.


There were martinis passed out like crazy with punny names like "Walk Like A Man-hattan"...

...and "Cherry, Cherry Baby..."


And I learned that apparently in the 1950s and 1960s, people mainlined sugar...



And, finally, there was the Happy Birthday tribute to Frankie Valli. You can see that, too, on the special VIDEO edition.



Go see the show. I don't quite agree with Jerry Fink of the Las Vegas Sun, who told me last night he thinks it's the best show in Vegas right now. I think that title might be a toss-up to me these days between Ka, Love and Mamma Mia. But it's certainly quite good.

4 comments:

LinFromNJ said...

I am SOOOOO jealous.

Anonymous said...

The "authentic Jersey language" (which is their verbage of choice as it was used about 9 times when I went and toured the theater) is odd because it's really only in one saturated scene. I'm all for cursing and authenticity but Jersey Boys' use of it is peculiar at least, if not distracting. I wonder if other markets have thinned it out?

Anonymous said...

The cursing in the Vegas JB is the same as in the other productions.

Anonymous said...

"if you don't like it, you can go fuck yourself"
-Mary Delgado