If you were to ask me at random if I like musicals I will tell you that I do not. I may add a caveat of, “except for Hello Dolly and JC Superstar” but even that is rare. In fact I actually cannot stand at all the way modern broadway vocals sound, it’s all very nasally and obnoxious to me. We all have our preferences, though, so it’s whatever, ya know? I have been incredibly fortunate to have a BFF who is also a skilled and talented (yes, both!) actor, dancer, singer, choreographer, writer, and director. They’re kind of a big deal! Over the last twenty years I have seen most of the shows they have been in or directed. I say most because they were in a million shows in 2017 and I know I missed at least two! Ha-ha!
The very first show I saw Jery perform in was Seven Brides for Seven Brothers and it made me see them in a new light. Now I’ve seen a ton of their shows over the years, but the stand out favorites have been JC Superstar, their Judas was unparalleled and just blew me away, West Side Story, the production wasn’t great but their Chino brought tears to everyone’s eyes I swear, White Christmas, ohmigosh I don’t even like Christmas but I cried my dumb face off at the end of that one they were so damned amazing in it, and then my memory gets hazy. I recall some plays they were in that were incredible to watch, titles escape me but one was for MACLA a local org and another at the San Jose Mexican Heritage Plaza Theater, both were sublime. I can honestly say that their theater resume is varied and rich with content!
It has been an honor and a privilege to see someone I know and love and drink with often evolve and grow and flourish in their abilities. Even when the show wasn’t great, their performance proved a shining beacon no one could deny. Catch me if you can was a delightful romp and a bit different than what I had seen them in previously. Several years ago I recall seeing them perform in a revue-like show called Smokey Joe’s Cafe and I had no idea how much I would love it. That production had built a story line into it, but I honestly didn’t notice! Ha-ha! I was so dazzled by well dressed men singling splendidly and dancing around on stage. And I knew all the songs! That had never happened before. I truly loved it. When they told me last year that they would be directing and choreographing Smokey Joe’s Cafe this year I was stoked!
When my BFF from Ohio came to visit we had no idea we’d get the exceptional opportunity to see Jery’s production of SmoJoe’s, as it is oft referred, the night before it opened! Wow! What a treat! Y’all! We were fucking blown away! The caliber of talent in the cast was beyond compare. Not just in vocals, but the dancing! SO MUCH DANCING! I was blissed the fuck out, lemme tell ya! Ha-ha! I just love seeing people dance and that choreography was so fun! I noticed some lil’ easter eggs, if you will, he’d thrown in there. Maybe not just for me, but a few of ’em felt like it. Ha! (J you know which move I’m referring to! Ha!) After seeing so many shows and even this same show before you’d think I’d be tough to impress at this point, and I might agree with you. However, Jery is a seasoned professional with great vision and a rich pool of talent from which to build his show!
Of course I would have preferred to see them in the show singing and dancing too, but seeing the end result was nothing short of awesome. I must admit it was a bit of a treat, though kinda wrong, to see them anxious and sweating bullets before opening night. I just so rarely see that side of them and always feel like a complete mess myself. Ha-ha! That’s what friends are for, right?! Everything went off without a hitch and anyone who saw the show gushed about its greatness, I can assure you! I was lucky enough to see it twice! I love a good opening gala!
They will likely hate me for posting this picture but I fucking love the hell out of it and I hope they get that part before the self deprecating thoughts/comments begin.
I kind of love “bad” pics of myself at this point…but I really love this outfit!
One of the shining stars of the show, Tony Gonzales, and their ever-espressive face! Ohmigosh! When the group sang “Ying Yang” Tony’s face was the whole show! Ha-ha!
These are Tony’s precious puppers dressed for the opening gala reception and to theme in their poodle skirts! Too cute!
After the show was the gala reception with champagne and h’ordeuvres and all the chatting and laughter you can imagine. It’s always a great time, but for me especially because it means I’m hanging and chatting and drinkin’ champers with my two BFFs! J’s spouse P never misses a show…or the rum balls! Ha-ha! With all of the hustle and bustle in the lobby slowly dying down, some of the cast and it’s illusive director popped back onto the stage for a quick celebratory Sake Bomb, only with cider instead of beer. J had asked if I could take a quick video of it for them and I said, “Of course…if you’ll snap some pics of me at this bar right now!” and so…
That’s me on stage, hanging out at Smokey Joe’s Cafe! During the show the shelves were all lit up beautifully!
I highly recommend supporting your local theater. You may even be surprised to find that you like musicals after all, as I did. Ha-ha!
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