I love going to plays and musicals and have seen so many thanks to where I live and the plethora of theaters around me. It’s one of my favorite things to do. But, would you believe if I told you that this Jersey girl had yet to see Jersey Boys? Yes, you read that correctly. I had actually been dying to see the show and when I finally had the chance to see it, it stopped playing on Broadway. I was so sad to have missed it. But this past week, I was invited* to come and see the musical at the New World Stages, since it’s made its way back to New York City.
New World Stages hosts a few theaters, all of which are intimate, very comfortable and newer. This is considered Off-Broadway due to the size of the theater, but it was the perfect setting for the tale we were about to hear.
I have always been a fan of Frankie Valli, but I had no idea what his background was or how he made his way into fame. Jersey Boys is the story of how The Four Seasons came to be, told from the perspective of each of its original band members, Frankie Valli (Aaron De Jesus), Tommy DeVito (Nicolas Dromard), Nick Massi (Mark Edwards) and Bob Gaudio (Cory Jeacoma).
As soon as the show began, I was drawn into the world of 1960’s New Jersey, where we learned everyone had just a few options, “If you’re from my neighbourhood, you’ve got three ways out – you could join the army, you could get mobbed up, or you could become a star.” They chose to become stars and we got to watch them on the journey, which turned out to not always be the pretty pictured they portrayed on stage.
We learned quickly that when you pair up the talents of Frankie Valli and Bob Gaudio, you put together a recipe for success. But if you throw in some big egos and the mob, you’ve got a dark side to contend with. We see it all unfold onstage–both the good and the bad–and are left mesmerized.
I tend to not like shows that people build up, maybe the expectation is just too high. I won’t name shows, but it’s happened to me quite a few times, where everyone raved about how great a show was, only to go see it and be really let down. I have to tell you, I fell in love with Jersey Boys, even after years of hype. It lived up to everything that I had heard and then some. I thoroughly enjoyed the personal side, the behind the music stories, that made up the challenges and successes of The Four Seasons. The music is fantastic, as you would know if you’ve ever listened to music from the 1960’s, but it is brought to life onstage by incredible voices that mimicked the unique falsetto of Frankie Valli and the other members of The Four Seasons.
Jersey Boys is written by Marshall Brickman & Rick Elice, with music by Bob Gaudio, lyrics by Bob Crewe, directed by two-time Tony Award-winner Des McAnuff and choreographed by Sergio Trujillo. The production includes Music Supervision, Vocal/Dance Arrangements & Incidental Music by Ron Melrose and Orchestrations by Steve Orich.
Jersey Boys is the behind-the-music story of Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons. They were just four guys from Jersey, until they sang their very first note. They had a sound nobody had ever heard… and the radio just couldn’t get enough of. But while their harmonies were perfect on stage, off stage it was a very different story — a story that has made them an international sensation all over again. The show features all their hits including “Sherry,” “Big Girls Don’t Cry,” “Oh What A Night,”
“Walk Like A Man,” “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You” and “Working My Way Back To You.”
Jersey Boys opened in New York on November 6, 2005 and by the time it closed over 11 years later on January 15, 2017, it was the 12th longest running show in Broadway history, passing such original Broadway productions as 42nd Street, Grease, Fiddler on the Roof, and The Producers. Winning awards all over the world, Jersey Boys has been seen by over 25 million people.
The design and production team includes Klara Zieglerova (Scenic Design), Jess Goldstein
(Costume Design), Howell Binkley (Lighting Design), Steve Canyon Kennedy (Sound Design),
Michael Clark (Projection Design), Charles LaPointe (Wig & Hair Design), Steve Rankin (Fight Director), Richard Hester (Production Supervisor), John Miller (Music Coordinator), Tara Rubin Casting / Lindsay Levine, C.S.A.
Jersey Boys is produced at New World Stages by Dodger Theatricals, Joseph J. Grano, Kevin Kinsella, Pelican Group, Latitude Link, Tommy Mottola
I can not recommend seeing Jersey Boys enough. Go see it while it is back in New York City for a special date night–Valentine’s Day is just around the corner and you will love this show, making it the perfect way to celebrate! You can find out more about the show and purchase your own tickets by visiting Jersey Boys online.
* I was invited to see the show to facilitate a feature, all opinions are my own.