My mother was even more excited than me when we arrived at the Sunderland Empire for Jersey Boys. The musical about Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons features songs she has loved since childhood – and to be totally honest, I don't know all of them. But the prospect of a stirring story about four boys from the wrong side of the tracks making their way in the music business in the 1960s didn't sound too shabby to me, and I was looking forward to renditions of the songs I do know, particularly Beggin' and Can't Take My Eyes Off You.
As we enjoyed a pre-show glass of wine my excitement was mounting, and when we reached our seats, we found we had a great view of the stage. The lights went down and there was a moment of silent anticipation.
I didn't know the story of the band previously. Fame wasn't always kind to them. Mob bosses, loan sharks, spells in prison and a shocking death are all part of their tale. But the band's music is full of hope as well as heartache.
The show won an Olivier Award for Best New Musical in 2009, and its popularity is perhaps down to the strength of the story – Jersey Boys doesn't just rely on the cast regularly bursting into another popular number in order to keep you on the edge of your seat.
It would be remiss not to highlight the talents of the performers too – my favourite was Frankie himself, played by the North East's own Matt Corner. He seemed overwhelmed with the audiences applause everytime he sang, and his voice was incredibly strong. He nailed the iconic Frankie Valli falsetto perfectly.
And my mum? She loved every minute of it.
Jersey Boys is on until 6th December. Book tickets and find out more about shows at Sunderland Empire at www.atgtickets.com/venues/sunderland-empire or call the box office on 0191 566 1040