07/06/2014 – A Jersey Boys/The Commitments Thing…..

Please be prepared for meaningless rambles throughout this post. This isn’t a review as such. I already reviewed Jersey Boys in my usual bad style (Please, if you have a wish to be bored senseless for the next half hour, scroll down and see if you can find it.) . It’s more just a collection of thoughts from yesterday. Yesterday was mad. That is it. 07/06/2014 was a blur. 

This trip was all a last minute thing. And these last minute things rarely work out how you expect them to. Ali, Jus and I had already seen Jersey Boys and our friend Stephy desperately wanted to see every fan girls dream Sandy Moffat on stage getting his Frankie on. So we sort of just threw this date out there and hoped for the best. In the end, little Stephy couldn’t make it, and really…. I should have known this was a sign that everything was going to get muddled….. So Stephy, what I am saying is…. I blame you. 😉

Anyway, us other three decided to still go. We had to. Some of us don’t live in London and it’s not easy to just reschedule for another day so train tickets had already been booked. But it didn’t matter. We love London. It’s our second home!

The train ride up to London was funny. There was a The Commitments poster up ahead and I took a picture of it to show to the twitter world. The dude next to me was a bit concerned and asked me why I was taking pictures of a poster. So I told him just because. And then I told him to vote for Ian Mcintosh as Understudy of the year. He looked baffled. He asked me if I had seen the show and I was like…. no. But you should still vote Ian. So he said… 

“You want me to vote for a guy who I don’t know in a show neither of us has ever seen for understudy of the year?”

Yes. Finally. He understood. He thought I was bonkers (that is the general thought of everyone I meet….) and said he would be telling his work mates the riveting story. Little did I know  I would actually end up seeing Ian that very night in The Commitments…. Funny how things go sometimes. 

Ali and I decided to meet early. We were both up at stupid o clock and we would be meeting Jus later that afternoon. She was at our other friends exhibition. Paps Baps. More on that later! 

We headed for our usual stomping ground, Leicester Square. Believe it or not, there are a few other things to see in London….. but we just wanted bacon really . Or at least I did. So off we went to get bacon. And coffee. Coffee and bacon are pretty much the husband and wife that stay together until they die. 

It was great seeing Ali again. It always is. 

We were just arguing about whether we should go outside and dance in the rain  (Ali said no,but I wanted to. It’s good for the soul….) when I checked my phone. I was waiting to hear something from Jus about what time she would be getting back to London and where to meet. I checked twitter just because it’s a pretty automatic thing to do and as soon as I pressed on the little blue bird, I saw that Sandy Moffat had tweeted exactly three seconds ago. Great timing. He was ill and wouldn’t be able to do the show. 

I’m not going to lie about the fact I was disappointed. Of course I was. As much as we love the show, we were also there to support Sandy. But people get ill. And there is fuck all they can do about that. And I knew it was coming. We got lucky enough to see Sandy as Franz every single time at Rock Of Ages so it was only a matter of time. Having said all that…. what the hell is wrong with some people? I have seen people actually get angry sometimes when their favourite cast member is off ill. Are you kidding me? We all know that these people live for their roles on stage. And that if they could , they would be there. So when they drop out, you know they must be ill and feeling pretty miserable themselves. I did tweet Sandy to say that we were there that afternoon just because I wanted him to know that he still has some supporters (or crazy fangirls) going every week to see him. And I also told him to get better soon. Then of course, Sandy being quite the nice fella he is tweeted people back and said sorry. Me included. Fucking hell. Oooops. I didn’t want an apology! Who apologises for being ill?! Bless him. So once again…. as much as I was disappointed there would be no Sandy Valli that day, it couldn’t be helped. It’s life. And I hope he gets better soon!! 

Also, I had just had bacon. Bacon pretty much gives everything a better outlook. 

Once we realised we wouldn’t be seeing Sandy, I wondered if there was the chance we would be seeing Michael Watson in the role. I stated in my previous Jersey Boys blog that I would love to see him play Frankie. And I don’t know the Jersey Boys cast well enough to know who is under studying for who so I just went the lazy route and tweeted Michael asking if he was on for both shows. He wasn’t, so then we knew for certain we would have an ‘unknown to us Frankie’ . More on this later…… 

Ali and I made our way to Costa near The Palladium. Which felt like I was cheating because I’m a Starbucks girl. 😉 I phoned Jus who had been at Paps exhibition all day and told her where we would be. Jus said that Paps had made a video for me and I was really excited to see it because I miss her little face! 

Skip to half an hour later when Ali and I are hunting for the secret phone charger bits in Costa, and Jus walks in. With PAPS behind her!!! PAPS BAPS!! I think the whole shop heard my excitement when they walked in. I haven’t seen Paps since November and it was so great seeing her face. She’s amazing and so happy. She brightens up the days! 

We sat in Costa for a while as the two girls explained why they decided to spring the surprise of Paps on us. We had a reunion with Mama ROAdie Rachel Page and it was seriously SO good seeing them again. Eight months is a long time to not see each other, and the only way it could have been more perfect is if Stephy would have made it . 

There were pictures….. 

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Before we knew it, it was time to get to the Piccadilly theatre. On the way there, we sort of arranged a VERY last minute trip to The Commitments for that night. Ali had to go home because her trains go back really early which is a shame, but I figured as I was in London, I may as well make the most of it. So Paps and Rachel went off to The Palace to see if they could pick up any last minute tickets for Jus and I while we headed in the Jersey Boys house. 

The cast board thingy told us that somebody called Matt Thorpe would be playing Frankie. We took our seats, and despite the fact that Sandy was off ill, I was excited. I love Jersey Boys. I have completely fallen for this show. I love everything about it. The cast, the songs, the story…. it’s amazing. 

As soon as the first song started up I was already grinning.

And Jon Boydon. Ahhhh. Look, in my last review, I gushed about him. So I can’t get into that again. But wow. He is so amazing as Tommy. So funny. He performs the role with such ease that you truly believe he is Tommy. The moment he comes onto the stage, I smile. And he has really, really good hip movements. I’m just saying. 

When it came time for Frankie to run on and start his role with a high note, I was holding my breath. After seeing somebody as amazing as Sandy in the role, it was going to take a lot to impress me. It’s not that I’m a hard faced cow, I like giving people a chance. But because it wasn’t Sandy Valli…. I didn’t know what I was going to think. 

I didn’t need to worry. By the time the interval came round, all three of us were already taken with the Matt Thorpe Frankie. The guy can sing. He hits the Frankie notes really well. And he brought a very ‘cute’ aspect to the role . For me anyway. I wanted to hug him and pinch his cheeks and I hate hugs so….. Anyway, Matt was brilliant. 

What was even more brilliant though, was that in the interval…. Jon Boydon tweeted saying it was Matt Thorpes first ever time as Frankie. Wow. Like I said before, I’m not really clued up on the JB understudies, so I didn’t realise this was Matt’s FIRST EVER Frankie. It certainly made me respect him even more in that moment. For his first time, he nailed it. He has a beautiful tone to his voice, and the nerves didn’t show. 

In fact, in the second act, I watched in amazement as not only was he not nervous, he was playing up to the crowd with confidence. It has to be said that the crowd this week were the best I have heard them. The audience were going wild after every song. So the fact that Matt was getting such a good response definitely spurred him on and by the time he sang Can’t Take My Eyes Off You, he had every single person going mad for him. The applause he got after that song in particular was amazing. It went on for so long that by the time he had to say his next lines, nobody heard him because everyone was still cheering. 

Edd Post and Matt Nalton were on as Bob and Nick. They are brilliant. I love watching them on stage. I enjoyed Bob more than ever this week and Edd brings such a cuteness to Bob. It’s a tough one to play actually, because Bob is this really intelligent songwriter/Buisnessy type , and yet so clueless and naive when it comes to girls and other things. Edd definitely gets the right balance. 

Matt Nalton still makes me laugh every time with the rooming with Tommy rant. In the first act, you don’t really know much about Nick, but by the end of the show, everybody loves him. 

We did see the guys, Jon, Edd and Matt Nalton give Matt Thorpe a little wink and smile on the last song, which was adorable. It was like a ‘well done mate’ kind of thing. It’s obviously a tight cast and they were proud of him.

We went to the Stage Door. I’m not sure why we did actually because…. Sandy was off and we couldn’t terrify him. I guess it’s just an automatic thing. We got chatting to a lady who is a MASSIVE jersey boys fan. She was also gutted at first that Sandy was off that day, and as a fan, I like hearing that! It’s good to know his talent is appreciated. I worried after Rock Of Ages finished about the type of role he would get…. I would have hated for any of the ROA cast to be stuck in an ensemble anywhere. So the fact Sandy got such a cool gig is awesome, and the fact that hardcore Jersey Boy fans who have seen the show multiple times miss him when he’s away is so cool. 

Edd Post and Matt Nalton walked out and chatted for a bit. What lovely guys. Not sure I have anything to say other than lovely. These people who work their asses off in shows do not have to even acknowledge crazy fangirls (and crazy fandudes). So the fact that they do is just a bonus. They were really nice. I definitely insulted them at some point but luckily they had a sense of humour and laughed. Phew. It was a nice insult. A jokey one…… *Note to self for future – Not everybody is Dan Fletcher. Stop insulting West End people to their faces.* 

Jon Boydon came out about five minutes later while Matt and Edd were still chatting, and here is the thing…. I have wanted to stop Jon the last few weeks just to tell him that he is good. But I lost my nerve. And I may have been too busy staring at Sandy the other times I went to notice Jon come out at SD. The guys in the show need to eat and they have lives. And I never want to stop or impose on anybody who looks like they are in a rush. I must admit that Jon did sort of start to walk past but I called him over anyway just to tell him how much we loved his Tommy. I didn’t have anything to worry about, Jon is as lovely as Edd and Matt. He was a really nice guy and i’m so glad we told him. It’s nice for them to be appreciated. And as long as you aren’t in their face I think the majority are happy to stop and have a quick chat. So thanks to those guys for being lovely and approachable! Jus, Ali and I are a scary bunch and it takes guts to actually stop and put up with …. well…… us. 

The guys walked away and we decided to wait a few more minutes to see if Matt Thorpe appeared. We were all in agreement that he at least deserved to be told how good he was being his first Frankie. He did appear and I think I witnessed the cutest thing I have ever seen! His Mum and Dad were waiting across the road, and he walked straight over to them. They hugged him and told him how proud they were of him and it melted every single person at that stage door. Oh my. It was the sweetest. 

The dude was with his parents and we weren’t really sure whether to say anything, but Ali called him over and he was ADORABLE. He was such a down to earth guy. He was hilarious too. We told him he was brilliant and he was really sweet. When we said how much the audience loved him, he said 

“I know, I couldn’t get a word in. I kept trying to deliver my next lines/songs and the audience were just clapping.” 

What a cutie!! He looked stunned by the whole thing. We asked him if he was nervous. We asked the other guys (Edd and Matt) if he had been nervous and they said he wasn’t. So we told Matt Thorpe what they said and he laughed and said he was calmer than he felt or something. I can’t really remember word for word but point is, he was lovely. His Mum and Dad ended up walking over to us and we all started saying how proud we were of Matt which was a bit weird because we don’t know him…. but I think the parents really liked the fact their son was being slightly fangirled over. 

With all that being said…… I missed Sandy on stage. I definitely haven’t swapped him over for Matt Thorpe. My choice to see a Frankie would be Sandy every time. He’s a sexy Frankie. I think it’s just because he’s sexy but still. I realised that even though Sandy has only been playing alternate Frankie for a month or two, that he has already made the part his own. There are some bits he does that I missed yesterday. I mean, come on… I’m not going to nit pick at Matt, it was his first time. He was spot on. But nobody can do the Beggin’ dance as good as Sandy. So as much as I LOVED Matt Thorpe and know that he is going to be a huge crowd pleaser, I will always want to see Sandy Valli. If Sandy has another sick day I would be thrilled to see Michael Watson or Matt Thorpe. But it doesn’t mean that I won’t miss Sandy on stage. 

After the stage door at Jersey Boys, we made our way to The Garrick Arms for a malibu and coke and to reunite with Paps and Rachel. All too soon , Ali was catching her train home and us four were off to see The Commitments. Double show day. Or so I thought…. 

 I have some things going on back home and before The Commitments started I knew there was a possibility I might have to run home. Sadly, I was right and when the interval came I had to go catch the tube and head back. I didn’t even get to say goodbye to Jus, Paps and Rachel which was horrible. 

With that being said, I obviously feel like I can’t really give a review on The Commitments. I only saw half of it!! I was a bit lost throughout that first act but that was mainly due to the fact I might have had to run back home at any moment. So I can’t even really tell you what was going on or who stood out. I can see why everyone would rave about the nights when Ian Mcintosh gets to play the part of Deco. But he was ensemble yesterday and I didn’t see him on stage all that much. Ian has always luckily managed to avoid being pestered by me at any RoA shows and obviously with this, I had to run off half way. But one day, I am determined to freak out Ian as much as I freak the others out and hope to see him on stage again soon. 

It was a weird day all round. From start to finish. On the train on the way home, there was this really cool rock sort of dude sitting next to me and he had the most amazing old fashioned journal that he was squiggling pictures in and writing stuff down. I thought it was brilliant. I love to see people doing something so simple when all around us were laptops and phones …. sometimes, you can’t beat a bit of good old fashioned doodling. 

What I mainly learned from the day though is that as long as you have bacon, then the fact Sandy Moffat isn’t playing Frankie Valli won’t hurt as much. 

See you again soon London! 

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The_Written_Laura

Inventing the world that's passing by.

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