Sunday, March 10, 2013

Jersey Boys

The first time I heard Frankie Valli's Can't Take My Eyes Off You that impacted me on a visceral level was during the classic scene in The Deer Hunter when Michael, Nick, Steven, Stan and John return from hunting and proceed to get drunk in John's bar the night before Michael, Nick and Steven head off to Vietnam and their ulitimate fates. The scene is beautifully wrought, hilarious and sad, and ends with a jump cut almost as famous as the one in 2001:A Space Odyssey.

The second time the song hit me on a visceral level was when I saw Jersey Boys in Chicago last spring. Coming off a major life trauma but rescued at the same time, the song, I realized, is an over-the-top declaration of love that almost everyone feels when they've met someone that embodies their 'love' ideal. Most people in real life can't verbalize love to these heights - that's why we have songwriters/singers like Valli, who can take such a strong emotion and wrap it up into a life-affirming song.

When the song came up in the play, I realized how lucky I was to be sitting there at that moment in time, at that time in my life.