Jersey Boys – According the the reviews; the latest “Big Show In Town”
I went to watch this show on March 12th at the Prince Edward Theatre and, as someone who is not overly familiar with the discography of the Four Seasons and whom in general dislikes the ‘jukebox musical’ culture that we seem to be slipping into, I must admit to being a little apprehensive about this show before hand. Most shows of this nature try and incorporate a plot/story and set it to the music of the artist that they’re paying homage to, with varying degrees of success; however the idea of a biography set to music was a concept that I was quite eager to see. The fact that many of the people involved in the ‘real’ story, such as Frankie Valli himself, have been doing quite a lot of heavy promotion for this show also swung it for me.
I found this musical to be a little ‘middle-of-the-road’ to be completely honest. I cannot say that I disliked it, as that would be untrue, however at the same time I do not feel the urge to rave about it to all of my friends and to drag them all along to see it. I have, however, purchased the soundtrack and so maybe this will grow on me in the coming days and I will find that I actually loved it after all. The show itself seems to have a massive following, with rave reviews and many devoted fans both here and stateside, and the huge cheer that went up at the end of the show was indicative of the good job done by all of the cast and crew on this show. I found the second act to be a little more engaging than the first, and I must confess to having a good ol’ sing-a-long to some of the songs throughout the performance!
Performance wise, the chaps playing the roles of the members of the original Four Seasons did a fantastic job – special mention has to go to Ryan Molloy who was wonderful, as he always is in any project he becomes involved in, and his vocal sound was uncannily like Valli’s. I was very surprised to find the brilliant Glenn Carter in this show (albeit without his trademark Jesus Christ Superstar hair!), and didn’t feel that his part allowed him to show off his amazing vocal range, though he did deliver a strong performance as ‘the bad seed’ Tommy DeVito. A good supporting cast helped to fill in the story, though this musical was clearly all about the four lads.
In summation, this is a great show if you are a fan of Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons, you’re pretty much guaranteed to like it as there is little offensive in the deliverance of the band’s story, and for those people like myself who perhaps have only had a simple induction into the music of these four chaps, it’s a nice way of easing yourself into the group’s music whilst finding out about their colourful story. I would definitely go to see Jersey Boys again, if not just to enjoy the music, to be able to form a more decisive opinion on the show.