A movie version of my “Jersey Boys” post from December, starring me and my mother.
As all writers online know from experience, it is always our most ridiculous posts that get the most attention. In between pouring my heart out in these reverb posts and breaking my back promoting next week’s big Holiday concert, I took a little break two days ago to re-tell a funny conversation I had with my mother. She had just seen a show in Florida where four guys sang the songs of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons. Being a snoot, I made fun of the show, calling it a copy of a copy (an imitation of Jersey Boys which is itself an imitation of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons).
So naturally, this post got linked to some sort of “Jersey Boys” forum, where I learned about the controversy over the Jersey Boys imitators.
My NYC musical theater friend, Noel Katz, explained it to me in the comments:
This may add to confusion, Kramer-family-wide, but the original Broadway cast of Jersey Boys (you know, the show about Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons, featuring their hit songs) does a concert tour in which they sing the songs made famous by (you guessed it) Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons. The producers of Jersey Boys arenâ€™t happy about this, and had their lawyers delay the tour for some time. I know one of the performers, who points out that he and the others are making a lot more money than they were on Broadway. It sounds likely your mother saw them.
After learning about this controversy, I owe my mother an apology. It is quite possible that my mother saw the performers of the original Jersey Boys, who are now touring as Frankie Valli and the Four Season imitators. They would still be imitators of the original Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, but the ORIGINAL Jersey Boys from the original production, so my mother probably saw a more authentic “Jersey Boys” than the audiences seeing the show on Broadway!
Perhaps this will be one of my blogging themes for 2011. What is real? What is imitation? And how do we know the difference?
In my Jersey Boys post, the final punchline was set-up by a response to my mother saying that an imitation Tom Jones is as good as the real Tom Jones:
â€œSo, why donâ€™t you hire someone who looks and sounds JUST like me to be your imitation son. That would be the same thing, right?â€
â€œMaybe my imitation son would actually send me a Hanukkah card, hmm?â€
By coincidence, I received an email from a complete stranger this morning. I was wary of opening it, thinking it might be spam, but something drew me into clicking on the link:
It was from a woman named Angela.
I stumbled upon your blog a few months back (don’t remember how), and have been immensely enjoying it. I generally don’t reach out to bloggers out of the blue, but I saw your blog posting and I had to email you to let you know that my hubby is your doppelganger. See a picture of him, next to your photo. Crazy, no? He dressed up as you for Halloween.
And, the similarity does not stop here. He used to live in NYC (the last place of residence was in Queens), and he was a copywriter.
Anyway, hope you’re not freaked out by my email; it’s not every day that you find someone that looks like you. Keep up your writing, and happy holidays.
At first, I wasn’t even sure if this was from a real person. Or whether I should be freaked out. But it was a real person. And she seemed normal enough. So, I responded back to my new friend.
Thank you for you lovely note. No one has ever dressed up as me for Halloween, so please thank your husband. This is a great honor. And I must admit, that your husband is a very attractive fellow.
Oh, and I have left a message with my mother that your husband will be sending her a Hanukkah card.
My mother called up from her winter rental in Century Village, Boca Raton, Florida.
“Hey, Mom.Â How you doing?”
“Good.Â I saw a fabulous show last night.”
“Oh yeah?Â What?”
“I forgot the name.Â Â A singing group.Â There is a show about them on Broadway.”
“I don’t know.”
“You do know.”
“You mean Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons?”
“You saw Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons?”
“Oh, you mean they had a production of Jersey Boys at Century Village?”
“No.Â It was people doing the songs of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons.”
“So, that’s Jersey Boys.”
“No, Jersey Boys is the story of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons.Â This had no story.Â It was just the songs of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons.”
“So, they were Frankie Valli and the Four Season imitators?”
“No, they were more imitators of Jersey Boys.”
“Jersey Boys ARE imitators of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons.Â So what you saw was an imitator of an imitator.”
“But they were very good.Â Now I don’t need to pay $100 and see Jersey Boys.”
“This reminds me of when you went to Italy last year and the tour bus ran out of time, so they took you to see an imitation of the imitation of the statue of David.”
“Next week, I’m going to see Tom Jones.”
“Tom Jones is coming to Century Village?!”
“No.Â Someone who sings like him.”
“Then STOP saying you’re going to see Tom Jones.Â You’re not seeing Tom Jones.Â You’re seeing a Tom Jones imitator.Â It is confusing me when you say that.Â Say that you are seeing a Tom Jones imitator.”
“It says in the brochure, “Hear the music of Tom Jones.””
“Yeah, it is the songs of Tom Jones.Â But you’re not really seeing Tom Jones.”
“Eh, if he is good enough, does it really matter?”
“So, why don’t you hire someone who looks and sounds JUST like me to be your imitation son.Â That would be the same thing, right?”
“Maybe my imitation son would actually send me a Hanukkah card, hmm?”