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    Late June back in 2015; the house lights went down and the entire auditorium was brimming with anticipation. For decades the music of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons has delighted audiences across the world – and tonight was no exception. Captured in the global smash hit show Jersey Boys, the music (and the story) took us on a journey you will want to see again and again.


    Following the real-life tales of the band’s career, Jersey Boys is more than just a trip down memory lane. The trials and tribulations of fame and life on the road are told with truth, sincerity and passion. Cleverly interwoven with hit songs including Big Girls don’t cry, the story keeps you gripped from the very first word to the very last song. It’s sharp, it’s slick and it’s sensational.


    Credit for the show’s realism is largely to due to the phenomenal cast. They are the very definition of perfection. By the time Walk like a man hit the bright lights of the stage, it was as if I was watching the actual Four Seasons perform. Screams and cheers filled the room and rightly so – the cast sent the crowd wild with their synchronised dance moves and flawless harmonies. I was certainly cheering for more!


    Each group member gave a performance worthy of a standing ovation. Stephen Webb’s Tommy DeVito was gripping; every inch the dashing leader, but still maintaining those looks of doubt that revealed a man who was more than the confident persona he projected. Juxtaposing Webb’s outspoken Tommy was Nick Massi, performed in style by the brilliant Lewis Griffiths. His deadpan vocal delivery was comedy genius, particularly in those more serious moments.


    Complimenting Griffith’s wonderful bass voice was the incredible Tim Driesen as Frankie Valli. Dreisen is quite simply one of the most outstanding singers I have ever heard. Equal to Valli in pitch and strength, he was the perfect choice to play this iconic singer. His rendition of ‘My eyes adored you’ was beautiful and emotional; an interpretation of the song I will never forget. Completing the quartet was Dan Krikler’s brilliant Bob Gaudio. As we witnessed Gaudio’s rise from teen musician to world-renowned song writer, his transformation emanated through every mannerism and revealing narration Krikler gave to the audience. Between their peformances and Amelia Adams-Pearce's amusing but honest Mary Delgado, the cast took us on an unforgettable - and sometimes heartbreaking – ride through the years.


    Everything about Jersey Boys brought to life the day to day workings of the music industries. Long before the internet, television and radio were that major marketing medium for musicians. The production team’s use of on screen broadcasting, combined with the cast’s performance onstage, captured the era of light entertainment programming in a fun and innovative way. Plus, the quick changes from New Jersey bars to recording studios set the pace for an industry that never seems to sleep. There will always be great music, but Jersey Boys showcases some of the most enduringly popular music that the world has ever known.


    At the Liverpool Empire until July 4th, this is the must see show of the year. This might have been my first experience of Jersey Boys, but it certainly won’t be my last.

    Photographs (C) Helen Maybanks

      Sarah's posts By Sarah O' Hara



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