BY JONATHAN VALANIA Last night, I took my mom to see Tom Jones in Atlantic City for her 67th birthday — cue up an image of a horned-up blue-haired old lady, and then multiply it by a thousand and you start to get an idea of that scene Sunday night at Resorts’ Superstar Theater. Can’t honestly say that mom turned me onto a LOT of music when I was a kid, but two faves — The Mamas & The Papas and Tom Jones — inhabit a special place in my heart of hearts. Somehow managing to straddle the gaping divide between un-reconstructed schmaltz and the kind of ironic cool that winks approvingly at un-reconstructed schmaltz, Tom Jones was the bridge between Rat Pack cocktail-pop and the hip-hugging, let-it-all-hang-out hippie chic that would replace it. Having gone in and out of style more times than Marcia Brady’s bell bottoms, his skintight, Cuban-heeled soul shouting still puts asses in the seats — last night closed out a five-night sold out stand at Resorts at a $100 a pop. And even if his voice isn’t quite the louder-than-bombs bullhorn it once was, and his once-svelte torso has thickened into hirsute middle-aged spread and the shimmying hips have slowed after 68 years of leather-lunged schlock n’ awe, he can still rock the moms. I find it’s best to not even try to understand why and just leave it at: What the men don’t know, the little old ladies understand.
UPDATE: My mother — actually my mother’s lawyer, to be exact — has asked me to make it clear that she is NOT the woman in the slideshow and she was in NO way involved with the tossing of ladies undergarments Sunday night at the Superstar Theater.