‘Everybody Leaves….’

Unless you have all been living under a rock, you will mostly be aware that many of the gorgeous Jersey Boys West End cast are leaving in March.

Or, I should be more precise and say ALL of the actual Four Seasons.

The announcements started rolling in on Saturday. Being a regular theatre attendee… it is impossible not to hear rumours. And I heard some things here and there at the last few shows I have been to. And wow, am I grateful that I did hear those rumours and hearsays….because I’m not sure my fangirl heart would have held up throughout Saturday.

If you read this blog, you are all going to know my thoughts on Jersey Boys. We all have a show that makes us feel good, makes us feel sad, makes us feel….things. Jersey Boys is that show for me. In case you couldn’t tell. I will never know if it’s the music of which I grew up listening to, the vintage costumes and props or just the fact that the majority of the shows stars are four nice looking men and I’m a bit of a sucker for a handsome face. But the show makes me feel everything and more…..and it is my show. (Not sure Frankie V and Bobby G would be happy with me staking my claim to Jersey Boys….but oh well.)

Of course, it is hard not to be sad. Literally every one of the actors that I love watching on that stage are leaving. All at once. I found it quite emotional saying goodbye to the loveliness that is Matt Nalton when he moved on to Beautiful pastures of new. …..<<< See what I did there? I know. Genius. I promised everyone that I would not be crying during Rock Of Ages last ever show. And that was a promise I would have kept if it had not been for the fact that suddenly….water invaded my face out of literally nowhere. So it looked like I was crying. What bad timing. So probably, what I am trying to say is that I most definitely will not be crying at Jersey Boys cast change. No. Not going to happen.

As emotional as it will all be, and as gutted as I am……I actually wanted to write this post as a bit of a thank you. I will be in no fit state to write a happy positive post after cast change. I will be mourning the loss of Sandy Moffats ‘Begging’ dance…..and that is a pretty hard loss. So while I have the somewhat normal for me brain usage tonight, now is the time to do it.

I followed Sandy Moffat from Rock Of Ages to Jersey Boys. I didn’t camp outside his house or anything. I just waited until he announced he would be playing alternate Frankie Valli. Although it was mainly because I didn’t know where he lived, otherwise I would have packed up my tent, binoculars, hot chocolate flask and pitched up right outside with a banner of a hand drawn picture of him in the leotard. All normal fangirl stuff.

He absolutely did me a favour. I had always wanted to see Jersey Boys but it was having the money and time. And with him moving in to the beautiful Piccadilly theatre, it gave me the best excuse to see the show. I never could have foreseen just how much I would grow to love it. I was like that bunny on the tv….I just kept going and going and going. My best theatre moments have definitely included every single one of Sandy Vallis Can’t Take My Eyes Off You. He gives me chills every time he sings that. It just seems to be his song. Hearing the comments from audience members all around me every time Sandy took to the stage has been bloody lovely and makes me want to shout from the rooftops “Hey, if you think he’s good as Frankie Valli, you should see his legs.” No, wait. I got distracted there. His legs have nothing to with  any of this. What I meant to say was …I always knew Sandy Moffat was talented , but his run as alternate Frankie Valli has completely blown me away. Watching him grow in the role, seeing all the ways he made Frankie his own has just been truly wonderful. It makes me incredibly excited for what is to come from him in the future. The possibilities are endless. Imagine just how talented he could be as the lead in Magic Mike the stage musical. (Seriously guys, when is that even coming to theatres? It’s as if somebody decided all of a sudden that a show about a bunch of guys stripping with absolutely no plotline isn’t a good idea??)

All I know is that I can’t wait to hear what else Sandy has in store for us, and that it is thanks to him, I got to see Jersey Boys. He will be gaining a whole new fan base with anything he does next, and I ….along with many others will be forever cemented in the Moffat fan club. I make everything sound so very creepy don’t I? It’s a talent. Thanks to Sandy who delivered a perfect show every single Tuesday night and Saturday Matinee. Not sure he would say the show where he broke Bob Crewes (Sean Mulligan) toe was perfect, but to me it was. He has given his all to the show the past two years and can leave knowing he did everyone and himself proud. I can’t say enough about Sandy, and actually….not only is he to thank for my love of Jersey Boys, he is to thank for my love of the theatre in general. This has all been very soppy I know, but the post would have been quite short if I had just done my usual trick of writing something along the lines of …..Sandy Moffat – legs.

Going to see Sandy of course led me to discover who Michael Watson was. I was curious about the other Frankie V. I heard whispers he was good, and in the end…. I loved the show so much that it didn’t actually matter who I saw. I mean, what can I even say about Michael without gushing? He has talent coming out of his arse. He hits those high notes so effortlessly and is a complete shining star on the stage. No matter how many different shows he does in the future, I will forever remember him as being an absolute professional on that stage and doing what he does best. The enthusiasm and joy Michael carries around with him is infectious. I ended up seeing Michael probably as many times as I saw Sandy. And Each and every show I saw with both guys were different. They were never boring. Each time, Michael would deliver a line differently to before, or absolutely nail a song to perfection. He renewed my joy at seeing Jersey Boys each time I made the visit, and I will forever be thankful for that. Michael Watson had me hooked right from the first moment I saw him. He has energy and charisma.

I am going to admit something now that I just know I will cringe at if I ever read this back, but it has to be said anyway. These guys, these performers……they do not have to speak to us at a stage door. When I used to go and see Rock Of Ages ….. I could never even speak to Sandy. It was quite embarrassing. I didn’t think I should be there invading their time or space. Then I learnt that actually, these people for the most part are all lovely, and so I learnt to just go to stage door and stand there awkwardly looking like I wanted to die as they exited the building. Obviously Sandy is absolutely lovely. He must get tired of seeing me every so often but he never shows it and for that I am grateful. It isn’t easy going to a stage door, especially by yourself which for the most part at Jersey Boys…. I am alone. I always battle with just going home straight after the show and looking rude, or going to the stage door and being awkward. I know it isn’t in their jobs to be all chummy niceness at a stage door, and so I am genuinely grateful that the guys come out full of happiness to anyone that is waiting.

Michael played a big part in my stage door experience. He made me not worry so much. I think I told him a number of times that I felt like a bit of a loser and he was always so lovely about it, so just for those little stage door moments, the guys have to be thanked again.

I definitely think Michael is destined for big things. Perhaps joining Sandy in Magic Mike. Maybe even going his own way and joining The full Monty. (If you lot have any other shows where minimal clothes are required, please leave it in the comments…..) ….On a serious note…I keep trying to picture what the guys are going to move on to and it is so hard thinking of a role that would be good enough for them. They are absolute stars to me and they need to be in the perfect role to showcase their talent. I honestly think this is the nicest I’ve been for a while, I usually just insult people…..I need to keep this up til the end of the post.

As with Sandy, Michael has found himself a fan for life. I thank them both for bringing Frankie V to the stage every night. Pure talent. I’m a hybrid of a MookyMoff. I just made that up. It works.

Edd Post has been a lovable and endearing Bob Gaudio hasn’t he? There is something about the way he delivers his lines, the way he pronounces certain words. I get lost in what an intelligent and creative man Gaudio is thanks to Edd. I get lost in the story and that is just a nod to how great these guys are on stage. Edd always brings me one of my stand out moments from the show in Cry For Me. I love the way he sings that song and the others harmonise with him. It’s completely magic. It is the first time in the show where the audience are literally holding their breath with the sheer awesomeness going on in front of them. That moment, for me, is when it all comes together. The last piece of the puzzle.

I have nothing but fond memories of any Edd show and he has a bright future ahead of him. It has been a pleasure to watch him pop his cherry every time and I hope he goes on to something worthy of his talent.

Gary Watson. Ah. Gary Gary Gary….. he was a new one to me. When our little but actually very tall Matt Nalton left, I didn’t know what I was going to think of a new Nick Massi. But my goodness did Gary manage to convince me that a new Massi was perfectly OK. The first time I really liked him. The second time I was sold. Just like that, Gary won me over. I did manage to have a look at his previous shows and the CV on that man is enough to prove his talent. He has been in some incredible shows, and now that he gets to add Nick Massi in Jersey Boys to it, his future will only get brighter. Gary may have only been there a year, but he well and truly cemented himself in the Jersey Boys crew. He made me cry tears of laughter when he’s persuading Gaudio to buy a car and when he has his TEN YEARS rant about Tommy. He is an absolute dream boat, a gorgeous soul and I wish him nothing but the best for the future. Just like with the guys above…. I will try my absolute best to get to any future shows. My bank balance will cry, but my cold heart will be happy.

Of course it would be impossible to talk about Jersey Boys without mentioning one particular man who although doesn’t play one of the Four Seasons…. we all absolutely love. Thomas Goodridge. Tom as Barry was everything. He gave joy, laughter and love. He lived for the role and is always such a sweetie to his many fans. He will be hugely missed but fondly remembered as one 0f the if not THE best Barry that any Jersey Boys stage has ever seen.

I actually wanted to leave Jon Boydon for last. I find it hard to put into words what I think about Jon and his talent. I think….what it is, is that for me, Jon Boydon as Tommy DeVito made the show. This man, has given six incredible and bloody hard working years to this role, and if anyone deserves to move on and have a break, it is him!! And yet, he will be one of the hardest goodbyes. Of course, in the grand scheme of things….. it doesn’t matter. Because he’s not going to disappear. (Please don’t!!!) ….. we will see him on stage or doing his albums or whatever it is he fancies doing. But six years in the same role in a West End show is such a huge achievement that he deserves one of those erm….lifetime achievements awards thingys. He is gold. The stage lights up as soon as walks on with “That’s our song” I have lost counts of my visits to the JB house. That is really bad isn’t it? I do know it has passed the 30 mark. What with seeing both Sandy and Michael….the total adds up. And out of all of those shows, I missed Jon once. Just once. out of way over thirty times. So he’s not just the West End casts Tommy, he is my Tommy. And he actually made Tommy become my favourite character. (I will state again, as I always do in my JB blogs that I am aware Frankie, Tommy, Bob and Nick were all real and not characters….but it is just for blog purposes OK? OK. )

For Jon to turn the arrogant, unhygienic, total prick of a guy Tommy into my favourite over the others is huge. I actually had this conversation with Jon once at an awkward stage door…. I said…. I’m not even sure if we are supposed to like Tommy. But I do. He’s misunderstood. He is a bit of a tool, but he was also the glue that held it all together. He did bad things, he did good things. He isn’t as instantly lovable as the other guys and yet he is my favourite. Luckily, Jon seemed to understand what I was saying at the time, I do tend to ramble. I just want to thank Jon for playing my favourite character. And I know that without Jon, one of the others would have been my favourite characters instead. The way Jon plays Tommy is absolute perfection, he has mastered that role with all his years of practice and in my eyes, is truly a West End hero. If I could give him all the awards going, I would. He is so talented and I can’t wait to hear his new album.

I will find it so hard to not only say goodbye to all of these guys, but actually say goodbye to all of them at the same time. They have added to my theatre joy. There are only two shows that I have continually went back to see. Rock Of Ages and now Jersey Boys. I can’t imagine loving another show as much as I do Jersey Boys and of course, I want to make it very clear that although it will be a whole new cast after March, I intend on going back to the Piccadilly when I can to see who is shining on the stage in place of the others. And I know I will love it. I have seen a few social media posts saying that Jersey Boys is over now these guys are leaving and that is daft to say. As much as these guys have become well loved and a lasting legacy, the show will go on with new talent and fresh faces who we will all grow to love. So here is to the future of Jersey Boys….booking until October 2016 people!! Great show, no matter who is in it.

I am looking forward to seeing what this talented bunch of guys has in store for us next. I didn’t think Sandy could beat prancing around in a sparkly leotard….but somehow he did. So I know without a doubt that there will be good things to come. It isn’t goodbye, it is just the end of a era. The changing of a season if you will. The changing of four seasons all at once.

As sad as I will be on cast change weekend, the first thing on my mind will be how great these shows with this cast have been. They have given me lasting memories such as the time a drunk guy spilt a glass of red wine over me in the interval, or the time where I banged my head on the stairs because I have a liking for row A seat 7 😉

So thanks to Jersey Boys and the current cast, you all absolutely kick arse. Bob Gaudio Voice – None of this could have happened……..without them.

Don’t be alarmed if after cast change I look worse than I usually do when I see these guys, it will be because I am homeless and poor due to having to see all the different shows they will end up in. Unless of course they all decide to do a one of a kind West End long running show with just them. It could happen. You never know.

 

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The_Written_Laura

Inventing the world that's passing by.

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