Monday, June 18, 2012

Jersey Boys with added elegance

Row F, Seat 7 -- can't get much better than that!
I took a day on my own to the centre of London with a small agenda – find a show to see. And I found that show – another visit to Jersey Boys. A woman dressed in a calf-length jersey dress came on stage about one minute before the performance – a theatrical dress, with a bit of her shoulders exposed. Her hair was blonde, curly, past her shoulders. She stood beside the metal stairs of the stage props and quietly looked at the audience, saying nothing, but exuding a quiet magnetic presence.

I turned to the woman next to me and said, “I have never seen this before. Do you know what is going on here?”

“The show is new to me,” she said. "I was in the Royal Circle but couldn’t see very well, so we just came down to the box office and upgraded our tickets to these seats. We are from Essex and just in London for the weekend. Have you seen the show before?”

Now I am embarrassed, not because I have seen the show before, but because I don’t know how many times I have seen it. After Wyona freed me up to believe that it is OK to see a show more than once, I just quit counting. I fumble for an answer but I am asking myself at the same time, "Isn’t the object of the day just to have a lovely time and not be to able to say how many lovely times I have had?" Jersey Boys surely allows for continued enjoyment.

The opening number started and then it came clear to me – this was one of the performances I have been reading about – the woman in black was signing for the audience. I had seen that advertized in the small chapbook called Guide to London Theatres – Assisted Performances for the hearing impaired.

Now what a treat that was. Almost like having one more singing, dancing and talking artist added to the performance. At the half, I asked the woman beside me, “Do you find the signer distracting? I do. I have been forgetting to watch the show, because I can’t take my eyes off of her.”

She was exquisitely beautiful, dramatic – doing all of the parts with facial and body expression, swaying to the music – I may have even learned how to sign a few swear words from her, as a bonus.

I watched her sign for the words to the song, “I cried for you, now its your turn to cry over me”. The line was repeated enough times that I got the rhythm and gestures. The signing seems to involve facial gestures, hands, and when a song is going on, her body was swaying to the music. So beautiful. Obviously, I spent more time watching the signer and than the rest of the show.

When am I ever going to get another chance like that!


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