Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The show

After lunch and a walk around the capitol, we headed to the theater. The venue of the Jersey Boys was the Ohio Theater. The theater was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1977. The Ohio Theater is a wonderful old theater that was saved from the wrecking ball in 1969.

When Scottish-born architect, Thomas W. Lamb, designed the Ohio Theatre, he envisioned “a palace for the average man.” The Ohio Theatre opened in 1928—a Loew's movie house that was a 2,779-seat Spanish-Baroque masterpiece—complete with its own orchestra and theatre organ. In addition to the movies, live stage shows touring on the Loews circuit found a home on the Ohio stage. During the heyday of vaudeville, many top performers crossed the Ohio's stage, including Milton Berle, Ray Bolger, Cab Calloway, Buddy Ebsen, Martha Raye, Jean Harlow, Ginger Rogers, Kate Smith, and a young M.C. with a violin named Jack Benny.

This lobby below is downstairs where the bathrooms are located.
To decorate and furnish the Ohio, Loew's chose Anne Dornan, one of the first women to graduate from the Columbia School of Architecture. Dornan traveled around the world to select art and furnishings, even going on a safari to find appropriate decorations for the "Africa Corner" in the lower lounge of the Ohio. Approximately $1,000,000 was spent on art and furnishings -- more than the cost of the building itself!

During Saturday's matinee we did not see the famous organ since it is stored on a moving platform and was below the stage. The Ohio Theatre's pipe organ was built by The Robert Morton Organ Company of Van Nuys, California. It was installed in 1928 in time for the theater's opening on March 17, 1928, though tonal finishing continued after opening day. The cost of the original instrument was $21,000. It is one of four identical four manual, twenty rank pipe organs built by Robert Morton for Loew's theaters with the others located in Kansas City, MO, Pittsburgh, PA and Hartford, CT. However it is the only one of the four to still be in its original home, and only one of a handful of theater organs around the world to also bestow the claim of being it the venue for which it was built.

Jersey Boys is a great show. It is a documentary-style musical, based on the lives of one of the most successful 1960s rock'n roll groups, the Four Seasons.

Joseph Leo Bwarie makes the audience swoon when he skillfully channels Frankie Valli’s signature falsetto during songs such as ‘Sherry,’ ‘Big Girls Don’t Cry’ and ‘Walk Like A Man.’

This show was so fun, amazingly fast, and energetic.


Post a Comment

<< Home