Can't help but mock the self-congratulatory love-fest that followed the opening to Jersey Boys at the Toronto Centre for the Arts on Sunday.
The show's terrific, don't get me wrong (read my review in Thursday's NOW). And the crowd, which included Soulpepper's Albert Schultz, musical diva Cynthia Dale, director Joel Greenberg and other local stage heavyweights, obviously appreciated it, too. But when producer Aubrey Dan and Toronto councillor Joe Pantalone hit the stage alongside real-life songwriter for the Four Seasons Bob Gaudio, book writer Marshall Brickman and other luminaries related to the project, things got out of hand.
Both Aubrey Dan and Joe Panatalone rhapsodized at length about the extent to which the success of Jersey Boys testifies to the huge array of talent in Toronto. Huh? Director Des McAnuff may have been born here - and hasn't lived here for a long time - and choreographer Sergio Trujillo was raised here, but the rest of the cast and creators are strictly made in America.
Perhaps what Dan and Pantalone meant to convey was that there's a huge passion in our town for stage musicals and that we welcome them with open arms - and pocket books. Because, trust me, aside from McAnuff and Trujillo's T.O. connection, the only thing Torontonian about last night's opening was the audience.