Jersey Boys, Across the Universe, Misbehavin’ Nightly, Pajama Game and Enchanted (i.e. The Past Three Weeks In Entertainment)

Jersey Boys
The show is a lot of fun. The story of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, it’s definitely rated R (they’re from f*ckin’ Jersey after all), but a lot of fun. It’s a biopic musical! Well then again, all biopics about music stars are musicals…I just don’t think I’ve seen the jukebox musical format applied as a biopic and I love it!

Across the Universe
Wow, two jukebox musicals in one week? You’d think I’d be sick of it, but I’m actually having a heck of a time. Across the Universe is the jukebox movie-musical (has that been done before?) starring the Beatles and an incredibly talented cast (definitely triple threats). Directed by Julie Taymor (the “person” responsible for The Lion King musical), the movie is very enjoyable and taught me a lot of Beatles music. The soundtrack is amazing! It’s chock full of musical goodies and I’ve had a 7-song playlist on loop for days of my favorites (I’ve Just Seen A Face, I Am The Walrus, I Get By With A Little Help From My Friends, Hey Jude, Dear Prudence, All You Need Is Love and Being For The Benefit of Mr. Kite) and it hasn’t gotten old yet!

Misbehavin’ Nightly feat. The Pacific Symphony Pops and Byron Stripling
It’s Flat Foot FLOOGIE, not flujie. Aside from that, Byron is an incredibly talented musician. About the only sad parts about this performance was that:
a) I couldn’t dance to any of the tunes (even though I brought my dance partner) because it’s a concert hall and that isn’t “appropriate”
b) I actually bothered the people in the seat next to me with my boisterous attitude (they didn’t come back after intermission – at least not to their assigned seats…)
Other than that I had an incredibly enjoyable time. Lots of incredible music.

Duke Ellington The Essential Ellington
Various Sounds of New Orleans
Rodney Red Arrow
Delange/Alter Do You Know What it Means to Miss New Orleans
Handy St. Louis Blues
Pinkard Sweet Georgia Brown
Duke Ellington Caravan
Irving Berlin Alexander’s Ragtime Band
Cab Calloway Minnie The Moocher (not listed in program)
Fats Waller Honeysuckle Rose (actually a two-song melody with a mystery song and Honeysuckle Rose)
Brooks Ain’t Misbehavin’
Slim Gaillard Flat Foot Floogie
Various Louis Armstrong Tribute

Pajama Game
Featuring the choreographic style that later became known as “Fosse, Fosse, Fosse”, the music of Adler and Ross (Damn Yankees) under the supervision of Frank Loesser (Guys and Dolls, How To Succeed) and a very talented cast, this musical actually reminds me of Urinetown if I think hard enough…because it focuses on one big issue rather than a lot of little things (the audience is happier that way). It’s about a labor contention in a pajama factory. The music is very fun and quirky, the story is good and the performance was very enjoyable. Oh – and I HATE Hernando’s Hideaway (olé). The lyrics just annoy me because I recognize the music as something more classical and I’m just pissy about it. Meh.

This is a phenomenal movie. It is the ultimate Disney geek-out (featuring 3 Disney “princesses” cameos – Jodi Benson/Ariel, Paige O’Hara/Belle and Judy Kuhn/Pocahontas) with music and lyrics by Alan Menken and Stephen Schwartz.

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The Walden Media production company is behind The Chronicles of Narnia movies, but they forced Disney to push Prince Caspian to a Summer 2008 release so that it wouldn’t compete with Waterhorse this Christmas.

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