a week has come and gone

Alright I’ve been putting off writing about my last day, last show etc… cuz I’m still savoring and reflecting on it, in between unpacking 8 boxes of ‘things’ I’ve somehow accumulated over the past 2 years and 7 months.

I still marvel at how Tim and I agreed I would give it 6 months, and as we approached the Tony Award Season it lingered on longer, as hopes of a Tony circulated, and than the Grammy’s, and singing on the Today Show, Letterman Show, performing on Radio City’s Stage and on TV for everyone I ever knew, those who raised me, taught me, befriended me, crossed my path…could see on National TV.

Meeting Frankie Valli, Bob and Judy Gaudio, Tommy Devito, Joe Pesci, Robert DeNiro, Martin Scorsese, Tom Hanks, Kevin Costner, Bruce Willis, Bruce Springsteen, Bettte Midler, Diana Ross, Susan Sarandon, Sara Jessica Parker, Goldie Hawn, Catherine Zeta Jones and Michael Douglas, Antonio Banderas, Glenn Close, Robin WIlliams, Betsey Johnson, John Stamos, Dion, Richie Sambora, Nicole Kidman…etc.. come on…this is ridiculously cool…and the hundreds who didn’t come back stage for whatever reason..

The friends I made in the cast will always be part of my DNA, how could they not. Starting at La Jolla, when things could change on a daily basis, One time I came back for lunch and was suddenly assigned the lead on My Boyfriends Back..that was always a bit tricky in La Jolla, because I have the fastest quick change in the show of 9 to 11 seconds, to throw that costume and wig off and get into my Mary Delgado robe and hair and attack Frankie…to disguise me in La Jolla they had me wearing sunglasses in that scene for a while..singing and dancing that song..lol.

The wardrobe and hair department and props become tight family too, because your very life depends on total trust in their competence..and they were the best. The hardest workers around, with no time for whining or complaining. And we all bonded even more during the 3 week strike. In fact it was a wonderful opportunity to actually have that length of time to get to know about them and their families, who we would meet on the strike line.

And the 4 of us girls, in the smallest dressing room in the theatre. But very close to the stage so we wouldn’t have to climb the stairs in our 3 1/2 inch heels. If the audience could see the hijinks, and drama that occurred backstage and even in our dressing room? priceless ..

To all the Frankies I kissed before…starting with David Norona who’s now in Lipstick Jungle.. Dominic Nolfi who is our unsung hero from La Jolla to now, JLY serious and dreamy and consistently fantastic, Michael Longoria, hilarious comedian backstage than pulls it all together to become Frankie, Matthew Scott, so young, great actor, lovely voice, Travis Cloer..whose voice must surely reflect Gods..effortless, fun, on stage and off..a true buddy, Cory Grant..who I loved doing the scenes with ,cuz he surprised me with little details that no one else played.. and Eric Schneider..who sadly I never got to play with because he hasn’t gone on yet… What a lucky girl am I?

Our stage mgrs..PSM Michelle Bosch , who has invited me over to every major holiday to feast on her unbelievable dinners and baked goods and hospitality, to tall Reupert who makes me laugh, and does her job effortlessly and always with a sense of humor, to sweet Jason who has photos of his little girls placed everywhere, that gives him balance and perspective, and Richard Hestor , who used to run our ship but did his job so impeccably that now he masters all the JBOYS ships… to Sandy Carlson our fearless company mgr, who I adore.. she and Tim Sulka have always come thru with getting me last minute house seats.. and all the details of their job done w/out complaint. And Sandy always went the extra mile with me and made this transition so easy and enjoyable.

To Michael David, and Lauren Mitchell and Sally Morse and Ed Strong.. what can I say.. I worked with them years ago as a young girl during Big River, but this time as an adult I can truly appreciate them and see the love they have had and the belief in this show since its conception..and look how it payed/paid off…

To Des, who looked beyond my natural personality, and somehow saw I could play a sassy, bitch with a heart of gold. Who inspires me continuously with his ideas and ever moving work..and energy…and joy. To Ron Melrose who went days without sleep to construct and form the music along with Steve Orich (who I also adore) in La Jolla, and before Broadway with Bob Gaudio.. I see how hard work can truly pay off.

To Bob and Judy Gaudio.. whom I had the privilege to get to know. His ear and eye for detail, untouchable; her taste and wit so fun to be around. To Frankie Valli , who has always known who I was, and the week before I left , left me with unforgettable words of praise , wisdom and direction…I was humbled but what I garnered from him.

To the fans, some who have become my life long friends…you know who you are… I love you dearly.. Thank you for your support, emails, letters, gifts, showing up at my cabarets, showing up nightly..going broke to show up for us.. thank you..I wouldn’t be writing or performing without you. Thank you

I’m sure i’ll remember more and talk about the last show and stuff as time goes by..but that’s a good start.. Thankfulness..and Love , JENNIFER NAIMO MORALES

8 Comments so far

  1. Stacey on April 14th, 2008

    Hi Jen,

    A great start. Your words are beautiful & allow everyone to feel as if we did it all with you, in your shoes. Know that you said you wouldn’t be writing this or performing if not for the fans, but we would not be here if it wasn’t for YOU!

    Your talent, warmth, love, generosity, graciousness, friendship & just everything about you always brought us back to you & JB’s.

    I know these words will be read as yelling…..
    but no one will dissagree with me or blame me for yelling it out loud….

    Love ya,
    Stacey & family

  2. Wanda on April 14th, 2008

    YOU, Jennifer Naimo Morales, made me cry again!! You pour forth so much love, gratitude and appreciation! What you put out there comes back to you 100 times over, that’s why you are so loved for who you are, you’re talent on stage is an incredible extra bonus! There’s no one like you, you are the one and only, and you will always be, it’s just who you are Jen!! We are all so blessed to have seen you on stage and to see you’re smiling face at the stage door. Thank the good Lord that 6 mos. turned into 2 yrs & 7 mos!!!I am truly blessed for having you in my life, my friend! ~~ OK, on a lighter note -YOU GO GIRL!!! Love you, Wanda

  3. NewJerseyLasagna on April 14th, 2008

    Hi Jen!

    Great to hear from you! I truly enjoyed reading your note & catching up…I must admit though…the one about you being stuck in the elevator will always make me laugh…it was hysterical. Take Care!


  4. Tina on April 14th, 2008

    Wow, I feel like I was listening and reading along to the reigning Miss USA give her hail and farewell speech as she takes her final walk down the runway. What a beautiful tribute to your colleagues and gratitude /appreciation as you look back on your journey from LaJolla to Broadway in JERSEY BOYS. Well done Mrs. Morales!

    I look forward to see what is next for you personally and professionally. Break a leg! A standing O for you as you carry on!

  5. Steve & Christy Holden on April 14th, 2008

    Jennifer … thank you for a wonderful thoughtful thank you note. You are an amazing individual and we are so blessed to be able to enjoy you in your impressive role both in La Jolla & on Broadway, and to be able to share in the magic of Jersey Boys with you. Best wishes on the future! – Steve (and Christy)

  6. [...] Visit Jennifer Naimo’s blog for some wonderful reflections about her amazing experience on Broadway and some great photo coverage of her last day with the JERSEY BOYS cast, crew, and friends. « Jersey Boys Fans in Vegas Are Ubiquitous!   [...]

  7. stacey on April 17th, 2008

    Hi Jen,

    Ok my first post to this went south… so I’ll try to remember what I said.
    You wrote……….
    “To the fans, ……….. Thank you for your support, emails, letters, gifts, showing up at my cabarets, showing up nightly..thank you..I wouldn’t be writing or performing without you.”

    I am sure that everyone who knows you, reads this blog & is a JB’s fan would agree….the reason we all show up & do what we do for JB’s was & is, due to YOU & the whole cast etc. You all have made this show what it is….FANTASTIC!!!!!!!

    Jen, we love you, & came to see you because of who YOU are. Your parents can be extremely proud of the lovely daughter they raised. You are so giving, warm, talented, sincere & just an over all wonderful person.

    I am glad we can call you our friend & have gotten to know you. We will miss you the next time we see JB’s. Even so, we know you & Tim are on a new journey and it will be a wonderful one.

    All our love & good blessings to you both.

    Stacey, Pete, Diana & Peter

  8. David Pandozzi on April 20th, 2008

    Hi Jen,
    We met and had drinks at a big party affair an affair/benefit of somesort (I have pictures) at John’s of Bleecker ST. next to St. James theatre and everytime I saw you there at the stage door or the time I saw you dancing at the after Tony’s party at the Hard Rock Cafe. I was a seat filler and sat in the first first row when you guys did the medley of song from the show. I was so happy that such a show reach Broadway in my life time and thankful for such a friendly cast right down to the understudies/standby actors. You joyous show even spread to the ‘front of house’ as I got friendly with the ushers/ticket takers etc. Having seen the show a big six times (for me that’s a lot; I do have to support your fellow actors in other shows with the time and money available). One especially stands out, she is Ann. Herself a singer in her younger days. We bonded over the excitment of it all. Wishing you much success and happpiness in furture projects. David Pandozzi