Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Ghost and Jersey Boys

We doubled up our pleasure last night, since we could have Rebecca for a whole afternoon and night.  We saw Jersey Boys and Ghost.

I was surprised to see that Rebecca identified with the music of the 60's and 70's as much as I did.  That four octave range of Frankie Valli’s and Gaudio’s brilliant melodies were shown off at their best.  I watched a TV special last year, one of many celebrating hits of the 60’s or 70’s, etc.  The original Four Seasons had tunes that went off the charts.  The reworking of their material into a musical is bringing back the tunes with a polish that even the original group did not have.

I first saw Jersey Boys in the previews with Glen and Janet, maybe back in 2009.  None of its original charm has diminished.
Sam Wheat,as a ghost in the shadows
Ghost, the Musical
Ghost (1990), the movie, is also playing at the West End as a musical.  That was the evening show. Rebecca and I spent our way home on the underground talking about the effect that mixed media has on new theatre, and how it seems perfectly normal to generations after me to have this happen.  They are the video game crowd.   

The stage background was projected through film.  Sam Wheat, the banker, was a ghost for most of the play, sometimes levitating or walking through walls.  There were some terrific scenes of life-after-death, and loved ones waiting beyond for their partners, only to be disappointed when a triple by-pass worked and they had to wait a little longer.  

The wicked in the plot got sucked into a vortex of darkness and good triumphed in the end.

Living here in Woodpark, in the fourth tube zone, we spend an hour of our time on the subway to get into London – about an hour, just a little less time than it takes to drive across Calgary.  This everyday public transit experience of the lurching of the tube coaches, the screaming of wheels in the underground tunnels, the sudden stops with people peeling out of doors came to life on stage.

The only time terror struck my heart was when Wyona was ahead of us and then she got out of sight as we were leaving for the second theatre.  We had stopped at Melanie’s for supper, the place we describe as the restaurant having large turquoise cloth napkins.   “Don’t you like your vegetables,” the waiter intoned when he went to take away my plate.  “I have been a bit off my food,” I had to tell him.  “I do want that volume when I come back next time.  I am just not able to attack my vegetables today.”

The mist in the air had turned into rain.  Wyona had put her black hood on her head, so we lost the bobbing of the white hair along the street as we were trying to follow her to the second theatre.  We had to phone Greg, who was already at the theatre to find our way.  “Keep coming past Mama Mia, turn at Dunsmore and you will see me in front of the theatre,” he said.  “How could you have lost Wyona?”

“It is not she who is lost.  It is we,” we answered.

Jersey Boys and Ghost – a lovely West End musical double feature.

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