Published on May 15th, 2014 | by Inês Ramos0
Jersey Boys are still going strong onstage
Are you tired of studying and looking for a good night out with familiar songs from the good old 1960s with your mates or family? Do you enjoy an engaging storyline? If you answered ‘yes’ to these questions, then Jersey Boys, the Broadway breakout-success jukebox musical is the right choice for a different night out.Jersey Boys tells the story of the highway to fame of the Four Seasons, one of most famous pop bands of the 1960s. Music and lyrics are by Four Seasons’ member and producer, Bob Gaudio and Bob Crewe.
The storyline, in the form of a documentary-style flashback narrative, is set before, during and after the Four Seasons break into show business.
Each member of the band narrates a chapter of the Four Season’s journey, that takes place from Spring to Winter. The stage production curiously takes place in the year 2000 and starts with actor Jon Boydon playing Tommy DeVito as the narrator, who introduces himself and offers to tell the story of the band, going back in time. His performance is consistent and his stage presence is very good from the beginning to the end of the show. Boydon does the perfect transition between the spoken speech as narrator and the character songs, which results in natural performance of the character.
The second part of the show has band member Bob Gaudio (performed by actor Edd Post) as narrator and the scenes are particularly energetic, with the cast showing an incredible chemistry in the song performances of Sherry, Big Girls Don’t Cry and Walk Like a Man that show good harmonies and acting. Edd Post’s vocal skills were particularly surprising during the performance of “December 1963”, the song about Bob’s “personal first”. The ensemble was amazing and added meaning and power to the music due to the diversity of vocal tones, making the audience cheer, applaud and start dance moves at the end of every song.
Jon Lee, who plays Frankie Valli in selected performances, makes an overwhelming interpretation of Can’t Take My Eyes Off You, which was the most remarkable moment of Act II. Perfectly sung, Lee added meaning to each sung word.
In the third part of the production, narrated by band member Nick Massi (Matt Nalton) the plot gets lost behind the sensational song performances, perhaps because the rhythm of the story gets slow as the band faces debts and other troubles.
Overall, Jersey Boys has a memorable plot but the phenomenal vocals will stay in the audiences’ head long after the performance has ended.
The set design is really simplistic but adds room in the audience’s imagination to picture the typical 1960s environment through colourful pop-art illustrations of the scenes. Video is often projected in black and white or sepia, leading the audience to believe they are watching to the Four Seasons’ performances in a 1960s TV. The cast are impeccably well styled and with a lot of hairspray hairdos – the Jersey Boys totally represent in a believable way the Four Seasons’ style, confidence and vocal power.
Performances of Jersey Boys are now taking place every evening from Tuesday to Saturday at 7.30pm at the Piccadilly Theatre. There are matinees on both Tuesday and Saturday at 3pm. Tickets are available both at the box office and online.