Saturday, September 18, 2010

'Jersey Boys' Sing at the Prince Edward Theatre - The Review

The story of Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons – Frankie Valli, Bob Gaudio, Tommy DeVito and Nick Massi – and how this group of blue-collar boys from the wrong side of the tracks became one of the biggest American and International pop music sensations of all time. They wrote their own songs, invented their own sounds and sold 175 million records worldwide – all before they were thirty.

This is the third production I have witnessed after Broadway and Toronto and will likely see other productions in the future. ‘Jersey Boys’ is a well devised crowd-pleaser. We get the story of the origins of the music group as the audience is teased with the group’s lesser hits. The auditorium then explodes once the familiar ‘Sherry’ is performed mid-way in the first act.

One thing that becomes obvious after repeated viewings is the reliance of narration. Not a bad thing and used to speed the story along. But it would be a clever writer to move the story with less one to one with the audience. It’ll be interesting how this works in a planned movie adaption of the musical.

Nevertheless, I am impressed each time with the talent on stage. After all, the purpose of going to this show is to see these songs performed live. Each time the group of actors chosen to play The Four Seasons do not disappoint including the actors on stage at the Prince Edward Theatre in London. This is a highlights version of the Four Seasons story and that’s okay.

At certain performances the role of Frankie Valli is performed by an alternate, Scott Monello, who performed at this evening's performance in lieu of Ryan Molloy.  Stephen Ashfield as Bob Gaudio, Eugene McCoy as Nick Massi, and James Winter (understudy) as Tommy DeVito normally played by Jon Boydon filled the remaining roles. Although it's always a slight disappoint that the original cast members are not performing, this is not a star vehicle show. Monello is one of the taller Frankie Vallis but he found the right style of performance to transition from youth to fatherhood. His singing was top notch.

So rather go on about this production, I’ll let this list of songs performed in the musical to show it’s going to be a good time. All these songs are available on the 2005 Broadway Cast Recording.  For the original versions, try the Very Best of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons.
Walk Like A Man
Dececember 1963 (Oh What a Night)
Big Girls Don’t Cry
My Eyes Adored You
Let’s Hang On
Bye Bye Baby
Can’t Take My Eyes Off You
Working My Way Back to You
Who Love you


All photos used for illustration purposes only.


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