Me, as I'm taking my seats at the Orpheum Theatre in Omaha last week: "I don't even know what this is really about, I've just heard it's really good."
My friend: "I read up on it today. I guess it's the story of the Four Seasons the band. Do you know Frankie Valli?"
Friend: "It's his music."
Me: "Well, I've heard of him, but I'm not sure I know his music."
Friend: "You might know more than you think. I was surprised I knew so many. Do you know the song 'Big Girls Don't Cry?'"
Me: "Oh, yeah! Okay. I know some then."
The lights basically went off at that point so we couldn't figure out if we knew anymore songs. I was pretty confused at the beginning. I really didn't know much about Jersey Boys other than everyone I talked to who'd seen it loved it. I knew it was set in the late 50s and 60s and I'm pretty into that, so I figured I'd like it.
Although I knew some songs, I hadn't heard of anyone in the band except for Frankie Valli. Not that I would have been able to pick him out of line up to save my life or anything, but I knew the name. I felt pretty uncultured during the first minutes. I followed along, but only in a story-listener way. Not in a way where I knew the story was based on actual events because I hadn't known who the band was and I didn't have knowledge of their past or their rise to fame.
Hell, when my friend told me it was about the band I wondered, "who are they to have a musical about them!?"
But my confusion cleared as soon as the first cords in "Sherry" hit my ears.
I was hooked.
There wasn't anything that could have stopped me from dancing in my seat and lipsyncing right along with the actors. I loved that song as a little girl. I don't know if I heard it in a movie, on the radio or what, but somehow I knew all the lyrics all these years later.
As I looked around the playhouse, I saw I was not alone in the singing and dancing. There were women all around jamming along with the singers in stage.
I immediately added their greatest hits CD to my Apple library during intermission because I knew I was going to need to listen to it on repeat for days to come.
While most of the play was fun and light, it was the reunion during their induction into the Rock N Roll Hall of Fame that got me. It was the part that really pulled me in and made me buy the movie a few days later just so I could relive the moment.
I won't lie. I got a little emotional. This time not in the story-listener way. This time all I could do was imagine the real band members meeting up again all those years later, singing together and sharing an award for their hard work.
I wanted to be back there in 1990 and see their reunion first-hand and I wanted to understand the impact it had on true, pure fans because I was one of those fans. I wanted that rush of emotion to be real. To be in a moment where I knew I was witnessing something I wouldn't forget.
It got me thinking. In 25 years, when I'm older, what is something that could happen that would be as impactful for me? What pop culture icons would pull those kinds of emotions from me? I mean, is there something I am so passionate about that could make me tear up like I was on the verge of in the theatre?
Is there going to be a moment where I know I'm part of something great? I'm making a memory that is going to last me a lifetime? A moment that will be a stitch in the fabric of who I am? Will I know it's happening when it's happening?
To be honest, I'm not even sure. I'm not even sure why this musical about these four guys, who were all a little troubled to be honest, made me have all these thoughts and feelings. I don't know if it was the magic of the music or just a weird night of nestalgia that I wasn't really ever a part of, or what. But I can tell you, I can't wait to have that moment, witness it, and hopefully I'll be truly present in the joy it will surely bring.